Mortuary Figurine


Location: On Display in the Asia Galleries

From: China

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Native Name Mingqi
Object Number C409
Current Location Asia Galleries - On Display
Culture Chinese
Provenience China
Period Tang Dynasty
Date Made Tang Dynasty
Section Asian
Materials Clay | Glaze
Technique Glazed | Fired
Iconography Horse

Mortuary pottery horse, glazed. With green saddle. Symbolizing status and power, horse figurines would have been placed with other ceremonial and everyday objects in a tomb. In the Tang Dynasty, the saddled horse was more common than the ox cart which in earlier periods symbolized a means of transport to the afterlife.

The tri-color glaze, known as sancai, was more expensive then plain terra cotta. It should indicate that the horses were made for an aristocratic occupant. Often mass-produced using a piece-mold technique, horses were slightly altered through adjustments in the neck and legs.

Credit Line Purchased from C. T. Loo, 1924

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