From the Great Pyramids of Giza to the treasures of Tutankhamun, there has always been a fascination with the mystical land that is Egypt. The ancient Egyptians were the first civilization to develop an extensive jewelry industry. Jewelry was an essential part of Ancient Egyptian culture. It was used as currency, to identify the wearer's status and religious beliefs, and was made from precious metals and stones. Their jewelry was worn for religious and political reasons as well as for personal adornment.
Egyptian Revival jewelry was inspired by the jewelry and architecture of ancient Egypt. The designs were created to mimic those worn by ancient Egyptians, and they were made using materials that were available at the time. They also incorporated motifs from Egyptian art and architecture.
Egyptian revival jewelry has been popular since the 19th century. Napoléon Bonaparte invaded Egypt and brought with him, scholars and scientists. Their findings helped create “Egyptomania,” or an obsession with all things Egypt. Jewelers like Tiffany and Castellani, produced scarab and sphinx motif pieces to satisfy the desires of the fashionable European crowd.
Later on, The discovery of King Tut's tomb by Howard Carter in 1922 led to a fascination with all things Egyptian, including jewelry. It was during this time that Cartier and other top jewelers created many Egyptian revival pieces.
There was another revival during the 1970s when from March 3, 1972, until July 19, 1981, a popular museum exhibit called The Treasures of Tutankhamun traveled throughout much of the world. It commemorated the 50th anniversary of the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun and had 50 objects from the tomb on display. The show could be seen in Great Britain, the USSR, Canada, Germany, and six states in the United States. It was the first time anything from King Tut’s tomb had come to America. This inspired many costume jewelry designers to create Egyptian-themed pieces.
Egyptian Revival jewelry employs motifs from ancient Egypt's culture and religion, including hieroglyphics and animal figures like scarabs, sphinxes, and ibises. These pieces can come in many forms: necklaces, pendants, earrings, and rings are all common choices among Egyptian Revival jewelry enthusiasts today.
Egyptian revival jewelry is a unique style that combines ancient Egyptian motifs with modernist influences. The designs are varied, but all are inspired by ancient sources. This type of jewelry has been worn for hundreds of years and will remain popular for many more as long as people continue to be fascinated by ancient Egypt's beauty and mystery.