The tomb of Tutankhamun contained many cheetah heads like this gilded one. This head differs from others in having the king's cartouche incised between the eyes. The cheetah head adorned a garment that imitated the animal's skin. This was the distinctive garment of the Sem-priest.
The Sem-priest was charged with revitalizing the mummified body of the pharaoh in the ritual known as the "Opening of the mouth." If the deceased were his predecessor, the new pharaoh would supervise the ceremony dressed as a Sem-priest.