Signet Ring of King Amenhotep II



Solid-cast gold signet ring with swivelling rectangular bezel inscribed on one side with the throne name of Pharaoh Amenhotep II and epithets: “the perfect god, son of Amun, mighty lord” [nTr nfr sA imn nb xpS]; and on the other side, “the one who fights against hundred thousands, son of Ra, Amenhotep, divine ruler of Heliopolis” [aHA Hfnw sA ra imn-hTp nTr HqA iwnw]. The ring was likely to have been given as a gift to one of Amenhotep's officials and can be compared with a ring inscribed with the prenomen of Amenhotep father, Pharaoh Thutmose III, known now as the 'Ashburnham Ring' (British Museum inv. EA71492) which formed part of the burial assemblage of General Djehuty, whose tomb was discovered in the 1820s at Saqqara. Joseph Mayer purchased the ring from Joseph Sams who had acquired it for £51.9.0 from the 1835 auction sale of the Henry Salt Collection, and is mentioned by the contributor to the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for April 1835 (vol. 4 p. 298). Mayer exhibited the ring at the Sixth Ordinary Meeting of the Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire which was held in the Board Room of the Collegiate Institution, Liverpool, on 4th April, 1850. The description accompanying the engraving describes that it was discovered “in one of the great tombs at Memphis, by Mr. Salt …The mummy from which it was taken was sold to the King of Holland, and forms one of the great treasures of the Royal Museum” (1850, p. 261).