Detail of an candelabra.

European designers and artists had been aware of Egyptian motifs and ornament for centuries. During the 1780s and 1790s, however, as part of the Neo-Classical style, the fashion for objects made in the Egyptian taste really grew. It was influenced partly by Napoleon's Egyptian campaign of 1798. This brought back to Europe Egyptian sculpture and other antiquities. Designers copied pyramids, sphinxes and hieroglyphics from tombs.

During the 1920s, there was another wave of interest in the Egyptian style, following the discovery of the tomb of the boy-Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, in 1922.