Most of us know the discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922 led to a craze for Egyptian-styled jewelry. Fewer are aware there were earlier Egyptian crazes (circa 1800, thanks to the Napoleonic campaign, and again in the 1860s, when the Suez Canal opened). Further, when Tut's treasures toured the world once more in the 1970s, it was "deja vu all over again." Because of that, you always have to look *very* carefully at jewels with an Egyptian motif, to determine when they were made.
This stunning piece depicting Tut in an elaborate headpiece certainly dates from the early 1920s -- based on its extremely fine detail, cutwork design, dainty size, unusual coloration and age-appropriate surface wear to the mauve pink enamel, revealing more rich gilding beneath.
While we can't be certain the medallion began life affixed to this particular backing, it looks great, being of the right period and style. The disk is edged with a sunray motif and etched with cross-hatching on the reverse. The present jump ring and 19-inch chain also show the patina of age, but may not be original. The pendant measures 5/8" round.
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