Ancient Words

28 06 2016

This 1978 newspaper ad describes the modern technology to be implemented during the American exhibitions of King Tut’s artifacts. That’s right – the cassette tape. Those of you who don’t know what that is – try Wikipedia. And my peeps who grew up with them – feeling pretty ancient yourselves, no?

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Grateful Fashion

13 06 2016

This hieroglyphic tie is from the Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead collection. Rock on.

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1984 Pyramid Pinball Wizard

4 05 2016

“It all began thousands of miles beyond the mouth of the Nile River in a fertile region known today as Bally Midway….Preserved in all its monolithic glory lay the treasures of Black Pyramid. Never before had modern civilization had the chance to marvel at the rich ornamental sculpting of its cabinetry, the majesty of its flashing lights, the gleaming opulence of its regal flippers. Now from the far corners of Bally Midway, the legend known as Black Pyramid lives again.”

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Up and Away

23 04 2016

Egyptianizing themes are found more frequently than expected in transportation-related advertising applications. For example, this 1940s ad from the Warner Aircraft Corporation, which announces the opening of their new “Scarab” engine plant. There is no reference explaining this choice of iconography, but I suppose one might draw a correlation to the Egyptian god Khepera, who was believed to push the sun on its course through the sky.

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DaGroovy

30 03 2016

This polyester shirt from the 1970s is patterned with ancient Egyptian maidens. The red, white, and blue coloring adds an unexpected pop to the extra-severe linear design. I might just have to bust this out for the Fourth of July.

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Skin Deep

1 03 2016

Crayola did it again! Another ancient Egypt themed product (from 2013). “Tomb tones for artists wrapped up in their work.” Ha ha. Let’s get the coloring books out.

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Bric-a-Brac

9 02 2016

The Victorian era produced an unprecedented quantity of decorative crapola for the household. The golden rule of interior decoration was “if you can see an empty space, then clearly you need another tchotchke.” (I paraphrase.) Rich and poor alike demanded objets d’art – the only problem being, the less money one has to spend, the less d’art one can afford. The resulting struggle between Quality and Quantity (personified by mythological Greek goddesses, in the approved Victorian manner) resulted in Quality getting bonked on the head and stuffed in an alley while Quantity ran rampant through lower-class neighborhoods tossing flashy but bizarre objects through windows, where they landed on parlor tables, étagères, and mantels. Take this shoe, for instance – I suppose a petite porcelain model of a shoe might be quaint, especially if finished with a striking lustre hue. But reason stops there. Why are there embossed flowers and beads twining around it? Why add a painted scene of Egyptian monuments? And why would you want to stick flowers in such an ungraceful thing? Because, yes – it really was manufactured to be a vase.

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