Tang Dynasty terracotta Pottery Tomb figure of the Lokapala Worrier Deity. Figure molded wearing heavy armor, standing in a dynamic pose with left arm raised in a threatening gesture, standing atop a bull, circa 618 AD to 906 AD From a NYC collection. No TL Test. Guaranteed authentic and Tang Dynasty period.
This stance symbolizes the heavenly king’s authority and responsibility as protector of the tomb. He wears a suit of Armor that retains a remarkable amount of its original orange and white pigment. According to one Chinese tradition explaining their origin, the emperor Taizong when ill was threatened by ghosts outside of his room screeching and throwing bricks and tiles. When his general Jin Shubao (Chin Shu-pao) and a fellow officer came to stand guard the activity of the ghosts ceased. The grateful emperor had portraits of the two men hung on either side of his palace gates, and thereafter their images became widespread as door-gods. Originally, he would have brandished a weapon fabricated in a material such as wood that has deteriorated over the centuries. Looking unto his stern face and flaming hair and gazing into his fierce eyes, we understand why such works were intended to frighten away tomb robbers and evil spirits. Yet despite his intimidating nature, we are not repelled by him; instead, we are attracted to his artistic mastery and intriguing history.
Measures: Height 15.25 inches
Width 6.5 inches.
Condition: Very good for age. Low-fired terracotta with traces of original paint. Field repairs throughout and firing cracks as expected with these fragile figures.