AGE: Western Han (206BC – 24AD)
CONSTRUCTION: – Earthenware
DESCRIPTION: – Western Han Dynasty Mingqi Chinese Court Lady
HEIGHT: – 70cm
BASE WIDTH:– 25cm
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An impressive large earthenware Western Han Dynasty Mingqi Chinese Court Lady. The term Mingqi is associated with objects that were placed in burial chambers with a deceased person. They are also referred to as spirit object or funerary objects.
During the Han Dynasty it was believed that death was just a prolongation of life, a figure of a court lady such as this would undoubtedly be considered as a companion to the deceased person in the afterlife,
It is thought that the painted patterns on the these funerary objects was intended to represent lacquer which was too expensive for the average person.
The type of objects placed with the deceased were also a reflection of the wealth of the family. Grave goods of the royal or those of the wealthy were often objects that were used in daily life, this could even include servants, a favoured relative, pet or jewellery. An example of this is seen in the Qianling Mausoleum tomb site housing the remains of the family members of the House of Li, dating to the Tang Dynasty.
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During the Han, Tang and Ming Dynasty it was a common practice to bury miniatures copies, or life size copies of almost anything a deceased person used or enjoyed in his daily life or was considered useful in ensuring a peaceful transition into the afterlife. Burial goods could include a miniature copy of his or her home, a granary indicating his livelihood before death, cooking utensils and vessels, animals such as horses, dogs, pigs and jewellery.