Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) Sancai glazed pottery horse
The cream-glazed horse is naturalistically modelled standing on a rectangular base, with the mane, tail and hooves highlighted in amber glaze. The head is gracefully curved to the left, with a green and amber glazed saddle and blanket and foliate-shaped plaques detailed with moulded toads suspending from the trappings.
Measures: Height: 14.24 Inches (36.2 cm)
Width: 15.5 Inches (39.35 cm)
Depth: 6 Inches (15.2 cm)
Provenance: An English private collection, acquired in Hong Kong in the 1980s
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this item along with a lucite base.
Condition; Excellent with one repair to right side saddle blanket. Some remaining frustrations throughout with areas of oxidation and a fine craquelure throughout. A formidable piece that presents beautifully.
Notes: The present sancai horse is exceptionally well-modelled, revealing the technical accomplishment and stylistic maturity of Chinese ceramic sculpture at the peak of the Tang dynasty. This breed of magnificent horses was imported from Ferghana, Central Asia and was immortalised in Chinese literature and the visual arts. The horse itself was a potent image during the vigorous expansion of the Tang ‘golden age’. In style and subject matter, the present horse withsancai or ‘three-colour’ glaze was developed during the sixth century when Tang artisans experimented with sancaiglazes, creating a lively spectrum of blue, green, amber, and yellow over a creamy-white ground. The distribution of glaze on this current horse displays an unusually high degree of control.
Sancai horses are most prized among collectors. Elaborately caparisoned and standing foursquare with its head gracefully turned to the left, bulging eyes, mouth agape and ears alert, the sculpture successfully imparts a sense of realism and subtle movement.
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