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Signet Ring

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Because this ring bears a cartouche of King Khufu of Dynasty IV, known later to the Greeks as Cheops, it was once world famous as the actual signet ring of the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The inscription, however, shows that it really belonged to a man named Neferibre who was a priest in the cults of Isis and the deified Cheops at Giza two thousand years after Cheops died. The ring is unusually heavy and is made of gold more than twenty-one karats pure.

  • Reportedly From: Giza, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 664–404 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26 to Dynasty 27
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 11/16 × 1 × 7/8 in. (1.8 × 2.5 × 2.2 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, possibly from Giza, Egypt; by 1852, acquired in Egypt by Henry Abbott; 1859, purchased from Henry Abbott by the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned by the New-York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum; September 1948, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Gold signet ring of a "Priest of Isis of Cheops" i.e. a priest of the temple of Isis at Giza. The bezel is oval shaped with the inscribed area being slightly raised leaving an oval border. The priest's name is Neferbire.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Signet Ring, ca. 664–404 B.C.E. Gold, 11/16 × 1 × 7/8 in. (1.8 × 2.5 × 2.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.734E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.734E_PS6.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.734E_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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