Have you ever seen antique or vintage jewellery with Egyptian motifs on it? If so there is a reasonable chance that it is Egyptian Revival Jewellery dating from one of the revivals.
Egyptian Revival Jewellery
Egyptian revivals were the times when all things Egyptian came into fashion. The first main one took place in circa 1870 following the opening of the Suez Canal. The second occurred in the 1920s following the discoveries of King Tutankhamen’s tomb. Often any jewellery you find with Egyptian symbols will date from one of these eras however you will need to look for other dating clues to confirm this. The second Egyptian Revival is often associated with the art deco era and you can see the influences in many pieces of art deco jewellery
Symbols and Jewellery
The Egyptian symbols you can find in jewellery include Spinx, Scarabs, Cleopatra, Pharaohs, Obelisks, Pyramids, Mummy, and of course dog, cat and bull headed gods.
Egyptian revival jewellery can vary in quality from cheap costume jewellery through to excellent fine gold and silver. Much of the Egyptian revival jewellery from the 1920s is enamel on silver. Some Egyptian revival jewellery is set with real Scarab Beetles, these can be distinguished by their iridescent blue/ green colour. These scarabs are quite delicate so please do take great care of any you find. A good alternative is to find jewellery set with ceramic scarabs which are more durable.
Where to find
I have several pieces of 1920s Egyptian revival jewellery available on antiquesavenue at the moment including some lovely little silver and enamel charms in the shape of Sarcophagus with mummies inside and a Moses basket with baby Moses inside. There are also a couple of pieces set with ceramic scarabs.
Are you interested in Egyptian Revival antique jewellery? If so there is a great book you could look at; Egyptian Revival Jewelry & Design published by Schiffer Publishing ISBN 0-7643-2540-X. I’ve a copy here and it’s full of colourful pictures of genuine Egyptianesque antique and vintage jewellery as well as a bit about similar design on other objects.