Want to See My Stamp Collection?

16 11 2015

This vintage matchbook cover includes a coupon for 110 foreign stamps – “a treasure of unusual shapes, weird designs, dramatic subjects – ferocious beasts, native headhunters, strange outer space stamps…many more.” Sounds groovy, and I appreciate that they included the sphinx as their graphic of choice, even though they placed it in Nubia.



2 11 2015

A falcon, or possibly a depiction of Horus, graces the cover of a souvenir booklet from the 1933 World’s Fair.

World's Fair 33 souvenir book-small

Purr-fectly Timeless

26 10 2015

Cartier introduced their ‘les must’ collection c. 2009 – which featured modernized scarabs. See what I mean about Egyptomania being so random? Not necessarily always linked to major events, never mainstream, but ALWAYS popping up over and over again throughout our history.

Cartier ad-small

Color Defense

20 10 2015

Interesting inspiration for this c. 1950s advertisement from the Cambridge Tile Manufacturing Co. “The ancient Egyptian’s concept of functional color was based upon pure superstition. A green amulet, for example, was supposed to ward off the evil eye.” Contrary to the implied suggestion that you encrust your home with green tiles to keep unwanted neighbors, in-laws, salesmen, and Mormons at bay, the rest of the ad explains how this color prevents eye fatigue, etc.

There’s nothing like a product that does double-duty.

Suntile ad-smalljpg

Purity, Body, Flavor

12 10 2015

This 1940s/50s ad for Ballantine’s Ale explains the brand’s logo of three rings (here, they graphically function as racetracks at the base of the Sphinx along which riders on camels trot around). You can read more about America’s oldest beer on Wikipedia. I wonder if you can still order one of these brews by flashing the hand signal shown in the ad.

Ballantine's beer ad red-small

Fashion’s Follies

30 09 2015

The early twentieth century was particularly unkind to the woman of fashion – not only did she still have to compress her torso into uncomfortable corsets and wear over-sized headgear fixed in place with sharp hatpins, but also had to restrict her ambulatory progress by idiotically tight skirts. The vintage postcard below illustrates the parallel between (then) modern and ancient styles – although, it is doubtful that Egyptian maidens actually suffered premature mummification from their garments, and were merely depicted as being encumbered as a result of the artistic stylings of their day.

hobble skirt-large

Cleo Baby

15 09 2015

In 1962, Al Caiola and His Nile River Boys released a swinging album of musical tributes to Cleopatra. The (then) recent Elizabeth Taylor movie served as inspiration, according to the text on the reverse side. All of the songs but one are covers of works by other artists – but “Cleo Baby” is Mr. Caiola’s original contribution.

Al Caiola album-small


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