Despite the discovery of a few other small fragments of the king’s statues and statuettes, this ivory statuette is considered to be the only existing complete sculpture of King Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. His facial features bear a serious, realistic expression.
The king is seated on a throne that is decorated on both sides with his name inscribed inside the Serekh, or rectangular frame. Without the surviving name on the right side, it would have been impossible to attribute the statuette to Khufu.
The king is depicted wearing the Red Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt and the Shendyt, a royal, short pleated kilt. He holds in his right hand the ceremonial flail, symbol of authority. The statuette was discovered in two pieces. First, the body was found and, then, three weeks later, the head was discovered.
Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, ca. 2589-2566 BC. From the Temple of Osiris at Abydos. Ivory, height: 7.5 cm. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 36143