Basics

Cupretam, Cuprinox, and Cupronil

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From 1985 to 2007 or so, Mauviel used specific names for its tin-, steel-, and nickel-lined copper.

Cupretam, Cuprinox, and Cupronil
Clockwise from top left: Cupronil; Cupronil; Cupretam; Cuprinox.
  • Cupretam referred to copper lined with tin. The word is is a portmanteau of the prefix cupro (copper) and étamé (tinned).
  • Cuprinox referred to copper lined with stainless steel. The word is a portmanteau of cupro and inox, short for inoxydable, meaning stainless steel.
  • Cupronil referred to copper lined with nickel. It appears to be a portmanteau of cupro and nickel.

The name Cupretam was trademarked in 1975 (interestingly, not by Mauviel), and Cuprinox and Cupronil were both trademarked in 1985, but these terms weren’t stamped on the pots. Mauviel distributed pots to many kitchenware stores that sold the pots under their own brand; in some cases Mauviel included a product enclosure or hang tag with the pan. As a vintage copper buyer, you should know these names in case they come up on eBay or Etsy, but keep in mind that not a lot of sellers do not know what they mean.

Cupretam: Copper and tin

Arguably, Mauviel has been making Cupretam — copper lined with tin — since the 19th century. But in the 1980s, the company decided to brand this product line with a specific name. I’ve seen two versions of product enclosure for Cupretam pans and they’re different from a branding perspective: the trifold version does not have the Mauviel italic-e logo, while the bifold version does, consistent with the Cuprinox and Cupronil versions below. I suspect the trifold version is earlier than the others (1970s?), perhaps before Mauviel developed a coordinated branding strategy across all three lines in the 1980s.

Cupretam was available in two lines:

  • Extra-fort: “Extra-strong,” 2mm to 3.5mm thick, in smooth or hammered finish with cast iron or brass handles.
  • Sur table: “For the table,” 1.2 to 2mm thick, in smooth finish with cast iron or brass handles.

Cuprinox: Copper and stainless steel

We know Mauviel began working on developing a copper-steel bimetal pan in the 1980s, but it took them a decade to bring it to market. Mauviel trademarked the name Cuprinox in 1985, and in 1989, Mauviel’s president Jean-Marie le Guern “developed in partnership with a supplier, a bilaminate, stainless steel inner copper.” Mauviel launched Cuprinox in 1995 and here is the product insert.

Mauviel produced Cuprinox in three phases. From the 1995 until the early 2000s, they offered two variations.

  • Extra-fort: 2.5mm, smooth finish with cast iron or brass handles with stainless steel rivets
  • Sur table: 1.6mm to 2mm, smooth finish with brass handles

Around the year 2000, Mauviel expanded the Cuprinox line to add two variations at 2mm thickness.

  • Cuprinox: Formerly extra-fort; 2.5mm thick with cast iron handles
  • Cuprinox Gourmet: A new line, 2mm thick with cast iron handles
  • Cuprinox Style: A new line, 2mm with pouring lip and stainless steel or cast iron handles
  • Sur table: Still 1.6mm thick with brass handles

In 2007, Mauviel stopped using the “Cuprinox” and “Cupretam” terms and shifted to the “M” designations for their product lines (M’tradition, M’héritage, et cetera). The sub-lines lived on, however, with some modifications, until 2011 when Mauviel adopted the 150/250 naming convention with letters denoting the handle material.

MetroKitchen’s Mauviel Style Guide provides a handy chart to connect the current lines with their predecessors.

Cupronil: Copper and nickel

Mauviel patented the name “Cupronil” in 1985. These pans were made for a relatively short period of time, perhaps only into the mid-1990s. I discuss nickel-lined pans in greater detail in my post comparing nickel and stainless steel linings. Here’s the Cupronil product insert.

 

Mauviel did not stamp its name on every pot it made during the 1980s-2000s, but when it did stamp them, it used a stamp with its logo at the time, the word “Mauviel” with an italic letter e. This is the same Mauviel word logo used on the product inserts.

I’ve seen a distinctive version of a Mauviel 1980s-era stamp on pans that I suspect are Cupronil and it leads me to wonder if this can be used to identify them. Mauviel’s stamp of this era for all its pots has the Mauviel italic-e logo above the phrase “Made in France,” but take a good look at the capital letter F in the word “France” in the two stamps below.

The letter F in the logos are different. One F has a sharp upper corner, while the other F has a curved corner. I have seen this “curved-F” logo a few times now on pans that I believe are nickel-lined Cupronil — below are two examples.

Could it be that Mauviel used a specific version of its logo stamp on Cupronil pans to distinguish them from Cuprinox and Cupretam? Or is this a logo from a specific time period? I’m going to keep looking.


Notes

This name “Cupretam” was trademarked in 1975, but not by Mauviel. The company that trademarked it is Sifcelec SARL, 17, rue du Capitaine-Guynemer, Courbevoie (Hauts de Seine). I can’t find any information about this company.

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