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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.
MEDIUM Bronze, gold
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1390–1353 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/8 x 6 3/4 in. (5.4 x 17.2 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION 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)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.49.116_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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