Counterweight of a Necklace
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
This object was placed at the back of a multi-stringed necklace to balance its weight. Also, the beads of the necklace were shaken as a rattle in temple rituals, producing a sound thought to be pleasing to goddesses. This example was dedicated to the goddess Mut, represented as both a standing female and a vulture with a scepter. The queen’s head carved at the top acknowledges the close connection between Mut and the reigning queen, her earthly counterpart.
ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E.
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Bronze menat inlaid in gold. Conventional form terminating in head of Mut wearing long wig and modius with uraeus at each end, the whole inlaid in gold. In center, in openwork, standing figure of Mut between two columns, at base of each a uraeus with crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. At bottom, openwork oval with vulture (Mut) on standard. Small plaque in front of standing figure of Mut incised with her name. Entire design repeated on reverse. Numerous incised details.
Condition: Broken at neck. Isolated fragments of gold inlay missing. General condition good but considerable scattered corrosion remains which ought to be removed.
Counterweight of a Necklace, ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E. Bronze, gold, 2 1/8 x 6 3/4 in. (5.4 x 17.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 49.116. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.49.116_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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