Designed as a stylised Ancient Egyptian scarab, swivel-set between tapering shoulders wrapped in gold wire, to rounded shank, the underbelly of the scarab blank, circa 1860, French assay marks for gold and maker's mark. US ring size approx. 7. Weight: 12.2 grams
Note: Executed with startling definition and in incredible condition, this ring is a product of the Egyptomania that was ignited during the early-mid 19th Century by Napoleon's campaign in Egypt and Syria between 1798 - 1801. Having, rather unusually, accompanied a military endeavour with a scientific expedition - the campaign resulted in a French engineering officer (Pierre-Francois-Xavier Bouchard) discovering the Rosetta Stone in 1799, and the publication of the details of these discoveries and details of Egyptian life awakened a fascination that would be further fed by the philologist Jean-Francois Champollion using the Rosetta Stone to decipher hieroglyphs in 1822...
Jewels such as this were popular throughout the middle of the 19th Century and of course enjoyed another renaissance during the 1920s in the wake of Howard Cartier's discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb, 100 years after Champollion's breakthrough, in 1922.
In 2022, 200 years since the mystery of hieroglyphs was solved and the Egyptologists of the world began to piece together the elements of this fascinating civilisation, the long-awaited (and strikingly contemporary) Grand Egyptian Museum, by Heneghan Peng Architects opened this year...I can only imagine that in 2122 the fascination with Ancient Egypt will have seen no abatement.