AGE: – Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD)
CONSTRUCTION: – Terracotta
DESCRIPTION: – Chinese Han Dynasty Mingqi Terracotta Ox With Cart – Age related wear and breakages
HEIGHT: – 18cm
LENGTH: – 36cm
WEIGHT:– 2.35 Kg.
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Chinese Han Dynasty Mingqi Terracotta Ox With Cart made specifically for burials. The tips of the horns are broken and one of the spokes on the cart has been broken and glued back, a little carelessly, but still an impressive Tang Dynasty funerary object.
Earthenware and terracotta mingqi funerary objects excavated from ancient burial chambers in China open a window in time, as well as a wealth of information related to the customs and rituals of Chinese customs, when it was customary to place miniature objects and replicas of almost anything that was used in daily life into the burial chamber along with the deceased. These (Mingqi) objects have provided evidence of how both the rich and the poor lived in China, and to what was important to them during this time.
The Chinese believe that the afterlife is just a continuation or an extension of their living existence, and by burying these miniature objects with the deceased they would appease the soul and provide that for which he or she was attached to or used during his lifetime, thus, ensuring a happy journey into the afterlife and beyond whilst ensuring they wouldn’t return to earth in the form of a “hungry ghost”.
These funerary objects are referred to as Mingqi, they can be represented in many different forms such as miniature eating utensils, tables, chairs, animals such as camels, dogs, pigs as well as human figures. Houses or other types of buildings such as pig pens and granaries were a popular form of mingqi. A funerary object such as this terracotta ox and cart may have been representative of the deceased’s livelihood, he was possibly a farmer, using the oxen to pull a plough to till the soil for planting crops.