Armchair Traveler

18 09 2017

The end of the Victorian era produced numerous travel journals by both scholars and Joe Adventurer, all equally suspect in terms of veracity but at least full of interesting imagery and bound in eye-catching covers. This example, Our New Way Round the World, by the colorfully surnamed Charles Carleton Coffin, was published in 1887. It is not exclusively about Egypt, but iconography from the land was chosen for the cover art. As usual, “artistic” license was taken with some, though not all, illustrations.

You Had Me at Scarab

4 02 2017

Journey’s album cover for Captured, 1981. Scarabs within scarabs within scarabs…..

Thank you Journey and Stanley Mouse.


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.”

Bally pinball ad 1-small

Bally pinball ad 2-small


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

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

Before the Hustle….

19 02 2015

…there was the Fox Trot, a ragtime invention that lasted well into future decades. Although I try to limit my collection to American items, I could not resist this sheet music from a London publisher. Gyptia was composed in 1920 and the cover art is a fun melange of ancient symbols and figures getting their shimmy on.

Gyptia sheet music

The Hourglass of Time

12 01 2015

During the 1940s, Egyptomania went into hibernation. Examples were few and far between, and severely restrained in comparison to the extravagant, sometimes garish, examples from the 1920s. This sheet music cover from 1947 is a great example of how Egyptianizing elements were downplayed – here, the primary focus is the hourglass, apparently twirling in a time vortex that has also captured two hearts (high school yearbook, anyone?). But, in the background, veiled through the mists of the ages, you can just make out the sphinx and pyramids. See? Trust me, they’re there!

It Takes Time sheet music_small

%d bloggers like this: