China, Han Dynasty, ca. 206 BCE to 220 CE. This remarkably animated earthenware dog with its perky ears, tucked tail, and virtually twitching nose, sits at attention donning a decorative harness. The Han sculptors engaged in wonderful naturalism, delighting in the idea that they should provide the honored deceased with guardianship, service, and entertainment. This embrace of naturalism is quite evident in this pooch; just look at those wrinkles surrounding his eyes and that lifelike expression of loyalty. A wonderful example of a Chinese mingqi or "spirit utensil" figure. Such burial figures were created to demonstrate that the afterlife was simple and extension of life on this earth. Size: 8.5" W x 15.875" H (21.6 cm x 40.3 cm)
Provenance: Ex-private Caskey collection, Marina del Rey, California
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