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Signet Ring

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

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.

  • Possible Place Collected: Giza, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 664-404 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XXVI Dynasty-XXVII Dynasty
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS Height 13/16 in., 0.5 lb. (2.1 cm, 0.2kg) Bezel: Width 11/16 x Length 15/16 in. (1.8 x 2.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Signet Ring, ca. 664-404 B.C.E. Gold, Height 13/16 in., 0.5 lb. (2.1 cm, 0.2kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.734E. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 37.734E_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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    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.
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