French interest in Egypt and its antiquities was prompted by the Napoleonic campaigns of 1798. During the early 1850s, excavations were conducted by the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette, which uncovered hundreds of crates worth of artefacts, some of which were sent to the Louvre in Paris. In 1867, the Parisian master jeweller Gustave Baugrand dedicated his display at the Exposition Universelle to the ancient Egyptian style. His display was dominated by a tall statue of the goddess Isis. Jewels in the ancient Egyptian style would also be created by jewellers such as Froment-Meurice, Eugène Fontenay and Alexis Falize around this time.
By the 1860s, examples of polychrome decorated sarcophagi can be found in the collection of the Louvre, and it seems likely that the maker of the demi-parure based the palette of the jewels on the decoration of such artefacts. Another likely source of inspiration was the mummiform Ushabti also in the Louvre’s collection by the 1860s; small figurines placed in a tomb at the point of burial which were often faience but sometimes polychrome. A large number of Ushabti were part of the Louvre’s inventory by 1852, discovered by Mariette in Egypt.