King Amenhotep III of Egypt (reigned 1386–1349) built a temple at Karnak in Thebes dedicated to the vulture goddess Mut, wife of Amon, king of the gods and mother of Khonsu. In earlier times, Mut was symbolized by the lion goddess Sekhmet which means 'the powerful.' It is thought that in total, 572 statues of her in this guise were carved in granite for the mortuary temple.
One of the two statues here at Chatsworth is inscribed at the front of the throne on each side of the legs of the deity. The inscription says they were erected by Nebmare Amenhotep who was King Amenhotep III (1417–1379 BC).
The 6th Duke of Devonshire records in his Handbook of Chatsworth and Hardwick (1845) that the two statues at Chatsworth were sent to him by a famous traveller in the 1830s. In 2000, research by a Keeper at the British Museum revealed the identity of the unknown famous traveller as William John Bankes (1786–1855), the explorer and Egyptologist.
After the 6th Duke purchased them, he displayed them in the area of the present Rose Garden which was south of the 1st Duke's greenhouse. They were relocated inside the house in 1991 to protect them from the elements.