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Chinese Han Dynasty Polychrome Horse and Groom
Item Details
Description
**First Time At Auction**

East Asia, China, Han dynasty, ca. 206 BCE to 220 CE. A wonderful pair of pottery figures, a groom and a horse, both rendered in fine, naturalistic detail. The handsome gentleman presents a slender body dressed in a long-sleeved robe that flares out at his knees beneath a dotted vest. Gazing forth from slender eyes above a broad nose and straight mouth, his expression is both calm and dignified, as he holds out his hand, presumably to grasp the reins of his noble steed. Alternatively, the horse presents a thick body with skillfully delineated hooves and musculature. His long snout extends forward displaying a slightly open mouth and delineated nostrils beneath bulbous eyes and pointed ears. A short mane rises up from the curve of his long neck. Size of larger (horse): 12.4" L x 3.3" W x 11.6" H (31.5 cm x 8.4 cm x 29.5 cm)

During this period of Chinese history, horses came from the Ferghama Valley in Central Asia - present day Afghanistan. When elite individuals passed away, large "walking" terracotta Ferghama horses displaying an immense degree of attention to detail, like this example, were created to carry the deceased into the hereafter. The horse, second only in importance to the dragon, was believed to possess magical powers. The number of horses owned by an individual ensured his high status in the afterlife.

Tomb statues like this horse are part of a class of artifacts called mingqi - sometimes known as "spirit utensils" or "vessels for ghosts." They became popular in the Han Dynasty and would persist for several centuries. Alongside figures like this one were musicians, athletes, animals, structures? Even though they were mass produced, mingqi of the Han Dynasty often show a high level of detail and naturalism. These were designed to assist the po, the part of the soul of the deceased that remained underground with the body while the hun, the other part of the soul, ascended. Caring for the po seems to have taken on a new level of meaning in the Han period, with more elaborate rituals and tomb construction arising.

Provenance: private Vero Beach, Florida, USA collection, acquired before 2003

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#177409
Condition
Professional repair and restoration to horse and arms of groom with repainting over break lines. Both have expected minor chips, nicks, and abrasions, but otherwise have an excellent presentation with nice remaining pigments and detail.
Buyer's Premium
  • 26.5%

Chinese Han Dynasty Polychrome Horse and Groom

$4,000.00
$6,000
Shipping, Payment & Auction Policies
Offers In-House Shipping
Ships from Louisville, CO, United States
Local Pick-Up Louisville, CO, United States
Accepts seamless payments through LiveAuctioneers
Artemis Gallery
Artemis Gallery
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Louisville, CO, United States7,079 Followers

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0083: Chinese Han Dynasty Polychrome Horse and Groom
Buy Now for $4,000
Est. $4,000 - $6,000Starting Price $2,000
VARIETY | Antiquities, Ethnographic, Fine Art
Mar 19, 2023 11:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 26.5%
Lot 0083 Details
Description
...
**First Time At Auction**

East Asia, China, Han dynasty, ca. 206 BCE to 220 CE. A wonderful pair of pottery figures, a groom and a horse, both rendered in fine, naturalistic detail. The handsome gentleman presents a slender body dressed in a long-sleeved robe that flares out at his knees beneath a dotted vest. Gazing forth from slender eyes above a broad nose and straight mouth, his expression is both calm and dignified, as he holds out his hand, presumably to grasp the reins of his noble steed. Alternatively, the horse presents a thick body with skillfully delineated hooves and musculature. His long snout extends forward displaying a slightly open mouth and delineated nostrils beneath bulbous eyes and pointed ears. A short mane rises up from the curve of his long neck. Size of larger (horse): 12.4" L x 3.3" W x 11.6" H (31.5 cm x 8.4 cm x 29.5 cm)

During this period of Chinese history, horses came from the Ferghama Valley in Central Asia - present day Afghanistan. When elite individuals passed away, large "walking" terracotta Ferghama horses displaying an immense degree of attention to detail, like this example, were created to carry the deceased into the hereafter. The horse, second only in importance to the dragon, was believed to possess magical powers. The number of horses owned by an individual ensured his high status in the afterlife.

Tomb statues like this horse are part of a class of artifacts called mingqi - sometimes known as "spirit utensils" or "vessels for ghosts." They became popular in the Han Dynasty and would persist for several centuries. Alongside figures like this one were musicians, athletes, animals, structures? Even though they were mass produced, mingqi of the Han Dynasty often show a high level of detail and naturalism. These were designed to assist the po, the part of the soul of the deceased that remained underground with the body while the hun, the other part of the soul, ascended. Caring for the po seems to have taken on a new level of meaning in the Han period, with more elaborate rituals and tomb construction arising.

Provenance: private Vero Beach, Florida, USA collection, acquired before 2003

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#177409
Condition
...
Professional repair and restoration to horse and arms of groom with repainting over break lines. Both have expected minor chips, nicks, and abrasions, but otherwise have an excellent presentation with nice remaining pigments and detail.
Contacts
Artemis Gallery
720.890.7700
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
USA
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