Ivory statuette of a king in jubilee robe

From the Temple of Osiris, Abydos, Egypt
Early Dynastic period, perhaps mid-1st Dynasty (about 3000 BC)

This figurine is one of the earliest surviving portraits 'in the round' of an Egyptian king. It cannot be associated with any particular ruler, although there are tombs of a number of kings of the period not far from the Temple of Osiris at Abydos.

The robe, decorated with a fine pattern of diamond shapes enclosed by double lines, is of the distinctive type worn by kings when celebrating the sed or jubilee festival. The figurine may be evidence that this festival was celebrated right at the beginning of the historical period in Egypt.

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More information


E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of (University of California Press, 2001)

A.M. Donadoni Roveri and F. Tiradritti (eds.), Kemet: alle sorgenti del tempo (Milan, Electa, 1998)

A.J. Spencer, Catalogue of Egyptian antiqu-4 (London, The British Museum Press, 1980)

A.J. Spencer, Early Egypt, The rise of civil (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)


Height: 8.800 cm

Museum number

EA 37996


Excavated by W.M. Flinders Petrie
Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund (1903)


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