We’re not worried because we know it’ll be right back! Fortunately, the Egyptian revival jewelry trend returns every few decades.
This topic is part of the Orientalist fever that took Europe by storm after the arrival of Napoleon in Egypt in 1789, raising the profile of Egyptian art in the West. That was the time when Egyptian motifs and the exotic aesthetic began to be popular.
This love for the Oriental iconography crossed the ocean and arrived in America with the Chicago World’s Fair exhibition in 1893.
A little village of Cairo with costumes and belly dancers was recreated. It caused a big shock and interest in the Middle East and North Africa began to grow. After the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 it grew even more. This interest remained into the early 60s.
All this interest was called Orientalism and was merged with the organic Art Nouveau style of that moment, embracing architecture, graphic art, interior design, and most of the decorative arts including jewelry, furniture, textiles… as well as the fine arts.
The more prestigious fine jewelry firms around the world experimented with the Egyptian symbols and motifs like palm trees, sphinxes, lotus flowers, the goddess Isis, an eye of Horus, scarabs, hieroglyphs, pyramids, cobra snakes, the Ankh symbol and even mummies.
Designers such as Monet, Joseff of Hollywood and Polcini were influenced by this great era of exotic jewels.
Egyptian jewelry linked to ancient gold opulence with semi-precious stones, so bigger was always better, especially for exotic pieces like headbands with dangling forehead pendants, oversized BIB necklaces, or heavy chain-link “slave” bracelets.
We are sure it will be back! It’s too good to be left behind! And you? Which trend of the past would you like to see back?