Émile-Désiré Philippe

Gold, Hardstone Scarab and Charm Bracelet | Émile-Désiré Philippe | 黃金及硬石聖甲蟲造型手鏈

Auction Closed

December 7, 09:12 PM GMT


8,000 - 12,000 USD

Lot Details


Émile-Désiré Philippe | Gold, Hardstone Scarab and Charm Bracelet

Émile-Désiré Philippe | 黃金及硬石聖甲蟲造型手鏈

Featuring a graduated row of carved hardstone scarabs suspending gold charms in the forms of djed pillars, ankh symbols, and nefer amulets, length 7 inches,with maker’s mark for Émile-Désiré Philippe; circa 1870.

Émile-Désiré Philippe (1834-1880) was a 19th century French jeweler who created interesting pastiches of jewels with Egyptian motifs. He ismentioned in Cartier: Jewelers Extraordinary by Hans Nadelhoffer in the chapter titledPharaohs, Sphinxes and Pyramids

Nadelhoffer notes that Philippe was a pupil of Jules Wièse père, another distinguished French jeweler known for his extraordinary work in archaeological revival styles. At the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878, Philippe exhibited an entire parure which he then gifted that same year to the Musée des Arts Decoratifs. This parure is illustrated in Egyptomania: Egypt in Western Art, 1730-1930by Jean-Marcel Humbert, Michael Pantazzi and Christiane Ziegler, pages 477-479, no. 323. For another example by Philippe, see Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels, New York , April 19, 2016, Lot 218.


The bracelet offered here is a rare example by Philippe entirely mounted in gold. The various elements are each symbols commonly found in ancient Egyptian religion. The scarab beetle represented the eternal cycle of life; the djed pillar represented stability and was commonly associated with Ptah, the creator god, and Osiris, known as god of the after-life; the ankh was a hieroglyphic symbol used in Egyptian art and writing meaning ‘life’; and nefer was a hieroglyphic symbol which could mean beautiful, pleasant or good. The material that binds these symbols together is gold, which the ancient Egyptians believed to be a divine substance possessing magical powers. French Egyptologist Christiane Zeigler postulated “The jeweler (Philippe) most assuredly would have consulted an Egyptologist and perhaps he himself had even handled pieces of Pharaonic jewelry”. His designs are indeed beautiful, pleasant and good, and appear to have been inspired by a profound understanding of Egyptian art and symbols.