AGE: – Ming Dynasty 1368 AD – 1644 AD
CONSTRUCTION: – Terracotta
DESCRIPTION: – Chinese Ming Dynasty Terracotta Horse Rider – Glaze deteriorated, crude repair to tail (see pictures), possibly the tail piece was missing and has been replaced with another?? Some coloured pigment remains. Head is separate part
HEIGHT: – 35cm
WEIGHT:– 2.5 Kg.
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A Chinese Ming Dynasty Terracotta Horse Rider and horse made during the Ming Dynasty, specifically for funerary purposes to accompany and assist a departed soul into the afterlife. From the Han Dynasty, through to the Ming Dynasty.
As in this case the deceased could possibly have enjoyed riding his horse. Burying an item such as this with the deceased was thought to give him/her the enjoyment or comfort in the afterlife by providing him or her with what he or she possibly enjoyed doing on the earthly plane. Depending on his or her status in life such items range from very basic to very elaborate, sometimes using metals such as silver, bronze and gold. Since neolithic times, in China, jade discs and other shapes made from jade with intricate carvings were also used as tomb objects.
In the tombs of royalty, prior to the Han Dynasty servants, wives or beloved pets of the deceased were often sacrificed and buried alongside the deceased in the burial chamber with other other symbolic objects. Guardians such as lions and lokapala were sometimes placed outside the entrance of tombs to protect and prevent evil spirits or demons from entering and also to ensure that the soul would not be disturbed.
Today in China and other Asian countries where the Chinese have migrated, there is still a continuation of elaborate funeral rights, although the deceased in present times is likely to be cremated with life size copies of objects such as luxury cars, boats and houses made from paper, other popular offerings are wads of paper money and replicas of objects that the deceased specially loved during his lifetime, all mostly made from paper.
Similar terracotta horse rider made during the Ming Dynasty