Egyptian Fashionista

17 09 2014

This late Victorian era trade card advertises the establishment of N. Turner, purveyor of ladies’ fine shoes and slippers, in Auburn, NY.  Note the melding of Oriental themes, which included anything from the East – in this case, a mashup of the most recognizable monuments of ancient Egypt (the Great Sphinx, a pyramid, obelisks, and the kiosk temple on the island of Philae), with a portrait of a non-ancient Egyptian (perhaps Turkish) maiden.

Turner trade card

Syncopated Steppers

3 09 2014

This segment of a dance program is devoid of Egyptianizing motifs, but announces that the Egyptian Syncopators, “direct from Montmarte cafe Paris, appearing for the first time in Chicago (directed by King Tut)” will be playing at the New Union Ball Room on November 21st, 1923.

Park dance program-detail

Mr. Jack Meets the Mummy

25 08 2014

This 1906 postcard features a clever illustration of Mr. Jack, then-famous cartoon character created by Jimmy Swinnerton – a cartoonist whose history you can read about here; during the Mr. Jack years, he worked for the New York Journal. Here, Mr. Jack is shown with an animated mummy case and the witty phrase, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?”

Mr. Jack postcard

Rest Your Bones

18 08 2014

This vintage postcard shows the striking interior of the Egyptian Room Sun Parlor on the roof promenade of Craig Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Although at first glance the styling looks like any other room from that time period (c. 1920), there are numerous Egyptianizing accents, including the stenciled wall designs and cobra mantle lamps. A lovely place to recuperate after enjoying the boardwalk.

Atlantic City


Arm Candy

5 08 2014

Not all products manufactured in China these days are bad for you. This purse, a souvenir gifted to me by a college friend in 2000, adds pizzazz to any outfit, regardless of lead content. The bronzed plastic exterior is embossed with Pharaohs, chariots, and hieroglyphs that perhaps spell out an incantation against would-be purse snatchers.

purse China  purse China-detail

Refurbish Your Finery

29 07 2014

Barretts trade card“Send your feathers, kid gloves & laces to Barrett’s Dye House, 52 Temple Place, Boston” announces this trade card lavishly ornamented with polychromed Egyptian temple ruins (c. 1900).  Perhaps that is what the Pharaoh in the chariot is doing; he seems in an awful hurry, and willing to slay any who impede his progress, so one can only assume his haste is fueled by a nagging wife in a tizzy to freshen up some crucial wardrobe items prior to an important social event.


Picnic in the Desert

22 07 2014

Have you ever seen an old movie where people are attending an elegant picnic, complete with china, crystal, and servants?  Basically, everything you would have in your dining room (if you were wealthy) except outside?  That’s what this petite plate reminds me of.  Manufactured in the 1920s or 30s, it features a silhouetted scene of camel and pyramid on a rosy purple background, with gilt accents and a glorious overlay of lustre worthy of the most fantastic soap bubble you have ever seen.  The perfect size for a pyramid of petit-fours or macarons, served under the shade of a tent at your favorite watering hole.



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