Egyptian Revival Bookends

10 Nov
Photo of Sphinx Bookends

Pastel Sphinx. Electroformed bronze.  Height 6 inches.  Attributed to Marion Bronze. Circa 1958.  This is probably a reproduction of bookends from about 1926.

San Diego’s Natural History Museum is hosting “The Discovery of King Tut.” This exhibition features more than 1,000 reproductions of the treasures discovered in Tutankhamen’s tomb and will surely increase interest in Egyptian Revival pieces from the Art Deco era. San Diego’s Museum of Man has a permanent collection of Egyptian objects from Amarna, where King Tut spent his boyhood. The museum boasts, “See the Only Real Mummies and Shrunken Heads in San Diego.”

When the British archeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922 and opened it in 1923, a wonderful lode of ancient Egyptian treasures was revealed.

The find was so spectacular that it excited the entire Western world and ignited a wave of Egyptian Revival designs in jewelry, art and home decor. Bookends depicting pyramids, camels, jewelry, sphinxes, tomb doors, Egyptian gods, and Pharaohs proliferated.  Egyptian themed bookends are classified as Art deco because they were produced in the nineteen twenties which is recognized as an Art deco period.

Photo of Pharaoh bookends

Pharaoh Head.  Electroformed bronze.  Height 7 inches.  Paul Mori and Son.  Also found in polychrome. Circa 1924. Note the Nemes crown, a headdress of stripped cloth, and the uraeus, or cobra, at the top of the crown, symbols of the Pharaoh.

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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Antiquity, Art Deco, Art Styles


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