Ca. 1368-1644 AD. Ming Dynasty.
Ceramic Horse with Rider. An elegant ceramic figurine depicting a grey horse in a standing pose with its neck stretching forward and its tail loose, over one hind quarter. The horseâ€™s trappings, including the bridle and breastplate, saddle blanket, and breeching are molded in the round and coloured in striking blue. The rider is shown dressed in period-typical garb with the tunic painted blue with orange accents and wearing a brimmed conical hat. Horses were an important status symbol in ancient China.
These animals were brought to China via the Silk Road and were considered a luxury good. As such horses were a sign of wealth among the elite, and there were strict laws which restricted the ownership of horses to people of elevated rank. In fact, soldiers serving in Chinaâ€™s military had to provide their own mounts indicating that only the richest members of society could serve in the cavalry. This exceptionally well-preserved terracotta is part of a long tradition of horse statuettes in China, and in fact, the earliest known example of a stirrup, today a mainstay of equestrianism, was found on another Chinese statue of a horse from Hunan province, dated to AD 302.
Provenance: Important London collection of Ancient art; formed in 1970-80s then passed by descent. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this item.
Dimensions: 10.75 x 8.75 x 4.25 inches: (275mm / W:215mm) ; 1.35kg
Condition: Very good with no damage or repairs detected.
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