The Western world became fascinated with ancient Egyptian culture during Napoleon's Egyptian campaign, 1798-1801. By the late 1800's, archaeological finds - sarcophagi, mummies, hieroglyphics - were making news all over Europe, and Egyptian design motifs made their way into Western art, fashion, and architecture. Ancient faience scarab beads were unearthed en masse from tombs, and some of these pieces were then set into contemporary gold mountings and sold to Egyptophiles the world over. The demand for these talismanic beads outstripped the supply and new scarab beads were sometimes carved in the style of the antiquities to satisfy the masses. This ring dates to around 1900 - the scarab may be ancient or it may have been carved in the late 19th century. The minimal 14k gold mounting features a plain oval bezel and decorative nodes at the shoulders.