Chinese statuette of a horse with musician


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ITEMStatuette of a horse with musician
CULTUREChinese, Tang Dynasty
PERIOD618 – 907 A.D
DIMENSIONS420 mm x 365 mm x 145 mm
CONDITIONGood condition. Includes Thermoluminescence test by Oxford Authentication (Sample C121m75)
PROVENANCEEx Belgian private collection (2022), Ex English art gallery, Ex English private collection, acquired from Hong Kong art market in 1990s

The Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China was a period marked by significant cultural development and artistic innovation. Among the various forms of artwork produced during this time, Minqi, or “folk art,” flourished as a reflection of everyday life and popular culture. One prominent type of Minqi art was the production of horse and musician statuettes. These figurines depicted scenes of entertainment and leisure, often featuring musicians playing instruments while mounted on horses.

The horse and musician statuettes of the Tang Dynasty exemplify the era’s fascination with both equestrianism and music. Horses held a central role in Tang society, symbolizing power, wealth, and nobility, while music was an integral part of social gatherings and ceremonies. The combination of these two elements in the statuettes reflects the dynastic period’s appreciation for leisure activities and the arts. These sculptures not only served as decorative items but also conveyed cultural values and ideals prevalent during the Tang era.

The craftsmanship of Tang Dynasty horse and musician statuettes was highly esteemed, with artisans showcasing their skill in sculpting intricate details and capturing dynamic poses. These figurines were crafted from various materials such as ceramic, pottery, and metal, demonstrating the versatility and creativity of Tang artisans.