March 6, 2009

Marcel Boucher: Costume Jewelry Designer EXTRAORDINAIRE!

I was going through some of my books on vintage costume jewerly today and I thought everyone might like some information on one of the most highly sought after designer even today...Marcel Boucher.

Marcel Boucher is considered by most (including myself) to be the most imaginative designer of quality costume jewelry. His early enamel pieces are bold, wonderfully executed and even today is sought out by collectors from all walks of life including movie stars like Sarah Jessica Parker. Each one is a little "work of art". He started Marcel Boucher Ltd. In 1937 in New York and the name was changed in 1944 to Marcel Boucher & Cie. He was born in Paris, France where he designed for Cartier. He then came to work for Cartier in the U.S.. In 1930 he worked for Mazer Bros until he opened his own business. You will find two marks on his jewelry that can help you in dating some pieces. Prior to 1950 you will see MB with a Phrygian cap above the initials. Some folks call it a “rooster” if they are not familiar with this national symbol of France. The other mark would be BOUCHER. After 1955 the © symbol would also appear with his name. Most pieces by Boucher also have an inventory number. I have seen very little Boucher jewelry that I do not love, but his most sought after pieces are his fantasy enameled birds from the early 1940’s. He also had fabulous fruits and other figural pieces. Even his later pieces are beautifully designed and executed.
Click link to view some of our beautiful and fun Boucher jewelry:
References taken from Carla and Roberto Brunialti’s “A Tribute to America” and Judith Miller’s “Costume Jewelry” books।

Recommended Book:
A Tribute to America and American Costume Jewelry by Carla Ginelli Brunialti and Roberto Brunialti. These are incredible books that concentrate on costume jewelry from 1935-1950. You will see photos and information about Trifari, Coro, Boucher, Hobe, Haskell, Pennino, Reja, Eisenberg and many others. Many pieces have patent information and dates. American Costume Jewelry is in Italian but it still has fabulous photos and you can read the patent numbers.

Recommended Website:
To see a wide selection of his masterpieces and other creative designs go to
They are not affiliated with the company Trifari or me. They sell high end costume jewerly from the 1930's thru the 1950's and it is a great place to see a wide selection of the most desirable pieces.

Jewelry Term: En Tremblant
Most terminology for jewelry is French. Some of my favorite pieces are called “Tremblers” from the French Term En Tremblant (aw traw BLÃ) which means trembling. A part of the jewelry (usually a flower head) is mounted on a spring and it will “tremble” as you move. I have also seen it called Wigglers or Wiggies.

Many Rhinestones in jewelry have foil backing that can get damaged over time. The stones can start looking yellow or darken. If your jewelry gets wet, dry it thoroughly to avoid any problems. Rhinestones can also be expertly matched and replaced.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Marcel Boucher. He is featured in many books on costume jewelry so look in your library, Barnes and Nobel or wherever you like to shop.