A beautifully proportioned Mingqi tomb pottery horse and saddle with traces of polychrome colors. Absolutely wonderful condition with no detected repairs with blacklight. A mane made of real hair would have been attached to the statue at the groove along the horse’s neck and a tail added to the rear.
Terracotta. Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 906 AD)
Measures: Height 12.5 inches, length 11 inches, depth 4.25 inches.
Provenance: From the Private Collection of Morton & Kathleen Sachs of Louisville, Kentucky acquired from TK Asian Antiquities (Williamsburg, VA) in 2000.
As horses were often symbols of the afterlife, this funerary statue seems to be ready to bear his owner into the afterlife. Horses held particular significance with Tang rulers and aristocrats, who relied on them for military preparedness and diplomatic policy. In addition, horses were also revered for their religious significance: ancient tradition linked them to the dragon, designating them as supernatural creatures. Clearly, this horse was a beloved creature buried alongside the deceased to accompany him throughout eternity. Wearing a harness and saddle, the horse is ready to gallop across the eternal fields of the afterlife, carrying the spirit of the deceased upon its back.