AGE: – 618 AD. – 907 AD.
CONSTRUCTION: – Terracotta
DESCRIPTION: – Chinese Tang Dynasty Terracotta horse
HEIGHT: – 43.5cm
WIDTH: – 18.5cm
WEIGHT: – 5.25 kg.
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Chinese Tang Dynasty Terracotta horse – The significance of the horse from the Han dynasty through to the Ming Dynasty represented a symbol of political power, military strength, mobility and multiculturalism as well as reflecting the wealth and rank of the deceased in whose tomb these miniature terracotta horses’ were placed.
From the Han Dynasty up until the Ming dynasty figures of horses were commonly found in burial chambers. They were usually mass produced with the use of molds and varied in size from miniature to life-size as can be seen in those of the mausoleum in which the famous Terracotta armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China were discovered in 1974.
The Tang horse as opposed to the Han style horse were often of the three coloured sancai glaze variety or cold painted with coloured pigments over a white slip, wearing embellishments such as tassels, shell-shaped bells hanging from the neck and elaborate bridles found in many of the Eastern Wei style horse (534 AD. – 550 AD. ) Some are unadorned and painted with a white slip exposing traces of coloured pigment underneath.
The horse during the Tang Dynasty also played a major role in recreational activities such as polo and hunting. The position of a person in society was often reflected in how many horses he owned and was demonstrated in the colourful and detailed dressage of the “Dancing or prancing” horse which were displayed in court ceremonies.
This horse figure has been looked at by an art appraiser from one of the major Australian auction houses and believed to be genuine.