On this day in 1922, British archeologist Howard Carter uncovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Not only did this discovery set the scientific, historical, and archeological worlds ablaze, but it sparked a revival of “Egyptian Mania” in the decorative arts.
“King Tut” took the throne at the age of 9 or 10 and held it until his death at 18. The cause of his death is still much-debated: perhaps a blow to the head during a chariot race, perhaps complications from a broken leg, or, perhaps, congenital health problems related to the fact that he was most-certainly born of an incestuous family relationship.
Although Tutankhamun was only a lesser-king (as Egyptian Pharaohs are compared), his tomb—intact upon discovery—was a wonderment to Westerners hungry for exotic culture and design. Throughout the West, all manner of Egyptian-inspired design permeated the decorative arts—from architecture to wall paper to bookends, like the pair of cast iron “Sphinxes” shown above.
Click on the photo to learn more about them.
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