This full beaded necklace with counterpoise (menet) at the back to keep it in place, became popular during the New Kingdom. Symbolically, the necklace was associated with the goddess Hathor, “the Great Menet”, and her son Ihy and may have functioned as a medium to transmit her power. In many images, Hathor is shown offering the necklace to the King and the Queen. The menet appears to have been associated with such concepts of life, potency, fertility, birth, and renewal.
When included as decoration or as an amulet in mortuary settings, the menet was associated again with Hathor, but in her duty as the goddess of the western necropolis and her part in the rebirth of the dead. In representations of Hathor as the divine cow, she is shown wearing the menet necklace. In later periods, other goddesses in cow form (such as Nut or Isis) were shown wearing Hathor’s menet.
Condition: Restrung, intact and in good condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 19 1/2 inches (50 cm)
Provenance: Menet: Goddard and Josephine Cook DuBois, New York acquired in Egypt between 1900 and 1907. Exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum, NY 1920 -1940, Boston Fine Art 1945-60, Museum of Man CA 1968. Necklace: private collection, Switzerland, acquired in Alexandria, Egypt in the 1950/60’s and imported into the USA in 1970’s, then by descent.