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Signet Ring Bearing Cartouche of Tutankhamun

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art


The earliest Egyptian rings were purely decorative, but later rings came to carry significance.

By the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom, they were frequently inscribed with the name of a god, a king, or the owner. The most popular type was made of faience and bore the name of the reigning monarch. Archaeologists have discovered thousands of these simple, mold-made rings; they were probably distributed as mementos at religious or state celebrations. Other rings feature protective symbols, including the wedjat-eye. Wealthy members of Eighteenth Dynasty society often wore rings made of inlaid glass or semiprecious stones.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Reportedly From: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1329–1322 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 13/16 × 1/2 × 3/4 in. (2 × 1.2 × 1.9 cm) mount: 7/8 × 1/2 × 1 1/2 in. (2.2 × 1.3 × 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Thebes, Egypt, archaeological provenance not yet documented; 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 Bright blue glazed faience signet ring inscribed for Tutankhamun. The bezel is oval-shaped and made separately in an open mold. The glaze does not cover a large part of the center of the underside of the bezel. Condition: Dark incrustation – especially in the hieroglyphs; otherwise good.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Signet Ring Bearing Cartouche of Tutankhamun, ca. 1329–1322 B.C.E. Faience, 13/16 × 1/2 × 3/4 in. (2 × 1.2 × 1.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.889E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.889E_erg456.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.37.889E_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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