Egyptomania: All About the Egyptian Revival, From the Explorers to the Artists That Created a Design Movement

It all started with Napoleon’s disastrous 18th-century campaign and the resulting 23-volume “Description de l’Egypte”, which was closely followed by other explorers like David Roberts, Henry Salt and Luigi Mayer, among many many others who managed to witness Egypt in the 19th century, each taking pieces of her back with them.

A page out of “La Description de l’Egypte” showing the Pyramids of Memphis (Giza), 1829
via NDLR
David Roberts Lithograph of Luxor, Thebes, 1838
via Wikimedia

Carter and Tutankhamun’s Tomb set off another wave of Egyptomania and people were literally OBSESSED with all things Egypt. Elements of Egyptian design, both ancient and modern, could be found on pretty much anything and everything, from architecture and design, to fashion, jewelry and even the performing arts.

The iconic sewing machine producer, Singer, released a now hugely collectible model inspired by the Giza Sphinx in the early 1900s, right around the time of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. Ancient Egyptian motifs now adorned perfume bottles, posters, and just about everything else as Europeans and Americans rushed to collect a piece of exotic history for themselves.

The Memphis Sphinx Sewing Machine by Singer, 1910
via Pinterest
Thebes Stool, 1920’s
via 1st Dibs
Necklace by Rene Lalique, 1905
via Wartski
Louis Cartier Brooch, 1923
via Pinterest
French fashion, 1924
via Pinterest

WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss The Vintage Egyptologist: Bringing Fashion And Heritage Back Into The Spotlight

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