Ancient Egypt has long been a source of fascination for the West. Western artists, architects and designers have been appropriating Egyptian design motifs since the Renaissance—as Europeans looked to ancient civilizations for beauty, culture and enlightenment. When Napoleon conquered Egypt, he instructed teams of artists to thoroughly record the art, architecture and aesthetics of Egypt, both ancient and modern. These engraved plates were published in installments called Description de l'Égypte from 1809 to 1826 which were wildly popular and had a tremendous influence on early 19th Century taste and design—paintings, architecture, furniture, graphics, jewelry, ceramics, metalware, lighting and other decorative arts.
There was another Egyptian Revival in the second half of the Nineteenth Century (around 1860), lasting through the Art Deco 1930's. During this period, "Orientalism" flourished in the West—that is, the appropriation of "exotic" Asian, Middle Eastern and North African aesthetics into Western design. The Russian ballet The Pharaoh's Daughter was first staged in Saint Petersburg in 1862. Verdi's opera Aida premiered in 1871. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 kept Egypt in the news. And the discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922 further fueled the passion for all things Egyptian.
This Pilkington Royal Lancastrian vase, made in Art Deco England (circa 1920's or 1930's), is cast with bas relief lotus leaves and finished with a green-freckled turquoise glazing. You can learn more about this handsome vase by clicking on the photo above.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248