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Egyptian Revival Enamel Scarab Brooch


One of the fabulous themes to (re)emerge from the Art Deco period is that of Egyptian Revival. The impact of the discovery of the treasures of Tutankhamun in 1922 spurred on a third revival for the motifs and designs of ancient Egypt. Scarabs were held in high esteem by the ancient Egyptians as the most sacred and important of all the images of Old Egypt. The beetle itself was thought to symbolize the sunrise and the new dawn and thus rebirth. .

This superbly rendered silver brooch is of a stylized Egyptian scarab. The beetle itself is an open work silver outline with the outstretched wings of a falcon. Masterfully decorated with polychromatic enamel in the technique of champlevé, tiny cells of straight and curved lines have been delicately gauged out from the silver surface and filled with the powdered glass. Fired at very high heat, the glass liquefies and fuses to the metal to form what we call enamel. The vibrant and deep colors of cobalt blue, lime green, sepia and turquoise blue reflect the fashion palette of Art Deco.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 3/4 of an inch (1.9 cm) in length by 2-3/4 inches (7 cm) in width. Weight of 12.7 grams (8.2 dwt).

Hallmarks: 8 (probably a partial 800 or 8xx silver mark; 950 out of 1000 being sterling silver); maker's mark “AC?” or JAC?. Also "ZIARI" or "ZIATI" or similar.

Condition: Excellent; some bending to pin stem; light overall even wear as expected with age and use.

Date & Origin: Circa 1925 and is European in origin.

Historical Notes: Egyptian Revival flourished for the first time after Napoleon’s campaign of 1798 into Egypt introduced motifs such as the pyramid, sphinx, and palmettes as elements of design. The impact of ancient Egypt re-emerged again during the Grand Victorian Period encompassing 1860 through 1880.

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