The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 brought 'Egyptomania', again, to the forefront of European decorative arts. While there are even earlier examples, this fascination with ancient Egypt had begun in earnest in the late 18th century and continued, intermittently, throughout the 19th century. In Victorian England, however, there was a great deal of interest in not only assimilating 'Egyptian' decorative elements into contemporary pieces but also directly copying ancient pieces. Important designers, such as William Holman Hunt (whose pieces were manufactured by the London cabinetmakers J.G. Grace), Liberty and Co. and Christopher Dresser celebrated this Egyptian revival. Dresser admired the severity, rigidity of line and sterness in the Egyptian prototypes, and he tried to give his furniture elements of these ancient pieces (see J.S. Curl Egyptomania: The Egyptian Revival, A Recuring Theme in the History of Taste, Manchester, 1994, pp. 198 - 199). Liberty, however, founded in 1883, was perhaps more concerned with copying the original, excavated pieces from the collections of the British Museum (Egyptomania: L'Egypte dans l'art occidental, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1994, pp. 465 - 466). In America, during these last two decades of the 19th century, the Egyptian revival style was also immensely popular, with such New York firms as Pottier and Stymus supplying not only 'Egyptian' furniture but entire interiors as well to families such as the Vanderbilts.