What goes around always seems to come back around. Our fascination with past civilizations since the age of enlightenment has meant that certain design elements have been incorporated into styles & art movement’s time & time again.
One style in particular, Egyptian revival, has had a rich history, surging to fashion with the archaeological exploration in The Valley of the Kings in the early 1800s & the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt in 1805. The trend eventually subsided only to return again with a frenzy, upon the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922.
One of the most wonderful things about Egyptian revival is that, depending on which surge, the designs can reflect the French Empire movement, baroque or Rocco styles or Art Nouveau & Art Deco styles along with the traditional Egyptian styles.
The key elements of Egyptian revival include lotus leaves, cobras, scarabs, jackals and geometric motifs including wings as depicted in the carvings from the ancient pharaonic period. This particular example is unusual in that it depicts the embossed profile of Cleopatra.