Vintage 1970s Egyptian Revival Metropolitan Museum of Art Winged Goddess pendant

A 24K gold plated pendant from the Metropolitan Museum of Art gift catalog for The "Treasures of Tutankhamun" exhibit. The pendant is described in the exhibit catalog as follows: "This pendant represents the goddess Meretseger, the protectress of the Valley of the Kings where Tutankhamen's treasures lay. She is one of several Egyptian deities in the form of a winged serpent. The facsimile has been made from a direct mold of the original gold amulet." 24K gold electroplate and mint condition.

A little piece of United States Art Museum history and something so fun for amateur Egyptologists! This is a "Treasures of Tutankhamun" gift shop souvenir, one of almost 100 pieces of replica jewelry designed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to be sold during the famous tour of Egyptian artifacts around the United States in the late 1970s. The exhibit was one of the best attended in American museum history, pushing the host museums of the seven chosen American cities to their very limits in terms of attendance and logistics. After some negotiating, The Met was chosen to organize the entire U.S. tour, which ran from November 1976 through September 1979. More than 8 million people attended the exhibit over that time period and nearly $10 million was raised to fun renovations at the Cairo Museum in Egypt.

This exhibit ushered in "the era of the blockbuster museum exhibition" according to an article in the HUMANITIES magazine, published by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Organization of the exhibit was immense. The article explains:

"The insurance costs alone were staggering, not to mention the additional staff and logistical support required. Help appeared on the insurance front when Congress passed the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act, in December 1975, to help cover insurance costs related to hosting international exhibitions. “Treasures of Tutankhamun” became the first international art exhibition indemnified under the new law."

Fun fact: The entirety of the artifacts were transported by the U.S. Navy. "The USS Milwaukee picked up the treasure in Alexandria, Egypt, and handed it off in Naples, Italy, to the USS Sylvania, which delivered it to Norfolk, Virginia, in early September 1976."

Quotations taken from: National Endowment for the Humanities, Meredith Hindley HUMANITIES, September/October 2015, Volume 36, Number 5

Measurements: Pendant 5" x 3.5"
Era: 1970s
Markings: MMA
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