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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: Africa
  • DATES ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/8 x 6 3/4 in. (5.4 x 17.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 49.116
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    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
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    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.
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