It was the biggest, splashiest news of the time: “Tut-ankh-amen’s Inner Tomb Is Opened, Revealing Undreamed of Splendors,” enthused the cover of The New York Times. The ensuing all-Egypt-everything “Tut-mania” inspired the likes of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels to design innovative jewelry that mixed Egyptian influences (faience, hieroglyphics, engravings of the feline goddess Mau) with the geometry and bold colors of the art-deco era, “creating something greater than each of the parts,” according to Siegelson. “These Tiffany Jewellery unite two incredible movements in art, that of art deco and Egyptian Revival. Both are desirable and the few pieces that fall into both categories are even more so.” One of those is Mrs. Porter’s brooch, which also incorporates real Egyptian antiquities, making it one of the most valuable pieces in the genre.
Indeed, almost a century later, this refined mash-up, known as art deco Egyptian Revival jewelry, is among the most unique,Tiffany Outlet and most highly-coveted in the modern market—and is priced to match. Many are considered masterpieces of the jewelry canon, but few land beneath the glass at the Met or even smaller museums. Instead, Egyptian Revival pieces are often purchased by private collectors with massive budgets and highly developed tastes.
“I wish museums had the money to afford to buy them,” said Tiffany Jewellery historian Janet Zapata, who has curated several exhibitions, including “Tiffany: 150 Years of Gems and Jewelry” at the American Museum of Natural History. Many don’t allocate large chunks of their endowments to jewelry, although some, like the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Newark Museum in New Jersey, are exceptions.Tiffany Outlet
“When they come up at auction, it’s a feeding frenzy. You get the prices later, and you think, ‘Oh my God, I thought we had hit the top. But we were nowhere near the top,’” said Zapata. “You can equate it with the art world and the way the value of a really great Picasso or Monet has continued to increase.”