A Mid-Century Modern Office

2 09 2015

This 1950s advertisement from Virginia Metal Products showcases their stylish ‘Mobilwall’ system. The panels were offered in bright enameled colors and translucent glass. This design apparently came about when “Dorr-Oliver, international engineering firm, wanted its new headquarters building in Stamford, Connecticut, to reflect its world-wide activities. The company’s interior designers, Rodgers Associates, conceived the idea of partitions following the horizontal lines of the Japanese shoji screen. Working closely with them, VMP engineers produced these distinctive Mobilwalls to match this concept.” Now, what does all of this have to do with Nefertiti? No idea, but there she is in the ad…

VMP ad 2-small


That’s Cuckoo

16 12 2014

Bwahahaha!!!! The Bradford Exchange strikes again, introducing the “only Cuckoo Clock inspired by the Wonders of Ancient Egypt.” The description is quite lengthy, highlighting various details (“regal golden Canopic jar-inspired pendulums”) and listing terms of sale (“Limit: one per order” – no worries there), but my favorite is “Queen Nefertiti’s sculpted bust emerges on the stroke of each hour.” Oh my.


Egyptian Cinderella

26 08 2013

This 1950s ad for the Joyce company, located in Pasadena CA, showcases the embellished footwear that a modern Nefertiti might wear.  “Undimmed through centuries, the jewels of Nefertite cast their spell on your lamplit hours…glow again on velvet the color of Sahara sands…the Egyptian (a) shell – 12.95, (b) peakpump – 12.95 and (c) contour – 16.95, from the Lamplighter collection of original Joyce designs…priced from 9.95.  Write, we’ll tell you where.”

Joyce shoes-large

Mind the Sharks

28 05 2013

Egyptian themes have been more prevalent in the history of American swimwear than you might suspect.  Perhaps because when you add ‘sand’, ‘sexy’, ‘colorful’, and ‘fun’ to the Cosmic Word Association Blender, you get Cleopatra in a gold lame bikini.  Or something like that.  My first entry on this topic is a 1980s ad from Swatch – the famous watch company that also ventured into fashion and accessories for those who REALLY needed to be popular in high school. One of their lines, named the Nefertiti collection, was a mash-up of ancient Egypt, time travel (well, yes, since they made timepieces) and comic strip illustration.  The entire line, from functional wrist bling to sassy bathing suits, is shown here.

Swatch ad-large

Swatch ad-detail 2-small

Nicotine Bling

1 12 2012

In days past, people smoked with class.  I know, it sounds absurd to use the word ‘class’ in conjunction with such a disgusting, nihlistic habit.  But countless movies, television shows, and advertisments of the pre-1970 era depict the art of smoking: hands elegantly poised, men courteously lighting their female companion’s cigarette, and of course, all the related accessories.  Lighters of both pocket, purse, and tabletop variety; long enameled holders a-la Breakfast at Tiffany’s; fancy boxes for your coffee table; and even ornamental cases to carry your smokes in – because using the original carton was ever so tacky.  This example is an enameled copper ladies’ case, depicting the bust of Nefertiti, c.1960.

cigarette case

Where’d You Get Those Peepers?

4 06 2011

Although widely considered a great beauty, Nefertiti is rarely depicted in Egyptomania, losing ground to her competitor Cleopatra – who was not beautiful, but spicy.  In this elegant ad from the 1950s, we catch a glimpse of just how fun makeup was in those days: “Germaine Monteil’s exclusive ‘Lumium’ lights your lids with colors such as dreams are made on – brilliant hues that shimmer with light-reflecting magic like the fairy dust that paints a butterfly’s wing.”

%d bloggers like this: