Modern Egyptian Jewelry, with Traditional Dimensions

A Merge Between Ancient Egyptian Jewelry and Bedouin Aesthetics


Where Ancient Egyptian Jewelry and Bedouin Aesthetics Continue to Flourish

Where Ancient Egyptian Jewelry and Aesthetics Continue to Flourish

Where Ancient Egyptian Jewelry and Bedouin Aesthetics Find a Home

A small jewelry store providing a treasure of infinite designs and traditional creations, Gallery Num presents its visitors with some of the most authentic local craftsmanship available in modern-day Cairo. A true treasure chest of cultural and traditional dimensions.

The entrance to the gallery is as traditional as the products it creates, whereas the main door is adorned with colorful Bedouin tapestry, fine local draperies and intricate woodwork. All of which are materials and crafts that have been engraved in Egyptian culture, and provide an immediate sense of local tradition. The entrance is situated at the bottom of a descending staircase, creating an instant atmosphere of cultural authenticity upon mere approach to the gallery.

The interior continues to enhance the mood attained upon entrance, and surrounds the visitor with heaps of old, new, authentic and rare products. Old pictures, antique furniture, and predominantly precious jewelry, fill the walls and displays of the store, giving a unique atmosphere of preserved history. The jewelry designs reflect a strong pharaonic influence, resembling the ancient artifacts found at the Grand Egyptian Museum. All the pieces are hand-made with precious and semi-precious stones. The designs also invoke a Bedouin mood of elaborate decoration, symmetrical designs, tessellations and fine details.

The precious creations are displayed in almost every corner of the store, on shelves, in niches and glassed displays. They glisten and shine demanding the attention of the visitor and the respect for their craftsmanship. A wide variety of colors, materials and stones are used to create the traditionally-inspired jewelry. At the back of the store there's a small workshop were the designs are created. The only machine in the store is an old polishing machine that's manually operated, otherwise, the workshop is scattered with hand tools, pincers and chisels, giving a true sense of an inherited craft.

The owner and main designer of the store, a creative woman with a university degree in philosophy, spoke about her interest in jewelry ever since she was a child. Taking pride in the fact that her skill is one of apprentice-ship, practice and hard-work, she resents that most jewelry has become too modernized with machines and standard moulds. Current trends focus on features that have lost their authenticity and have overshadowed the genuine beauty of the craft. This is what she's trying to preserve with her gallery, a true sense of the authentic craft, the fine skill and the cultural heritage. "We are like a family here, we've been working together for decades, and depend on each other to preserve this form of art which we've learnt, loved, and believe in... while for inspiration, Bedouin and ancient Egyptian jewelry are the source of true jewelry in Egypt, we are inspired by their designs, techniques, philosophies and traditions."

She describes her passion, "Jewelry-making is a fine skill, one with creative as well as scientific, traditional and cultural dimensions. If the culture and tradition are lost from the equation, then the created products are not genuine, they have lost their soul."