Chinese statuette of a horse with rider


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ITEMStatuette of a horse with rider
CULTUREChinese, Tang Dynasty
PERIOD618 – 907 A.D
DIMENSIONS520 mm x 420 mm x 180 mm
CONDITIONGood condition. Includes Thermoluminescence test by Laboratory Kotalla (Reference 51PR210621)
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 renowned for its vibrant cultural scene and artistic achievements, and one of the notable facets of its artistic expression was the production of Minqi figures. Minqi, which translates to “folk art,” encompassed a wide range of artistic forms created for everyday use and enjoyment. These figures were crafted by skilled artisans and represented various aspects of daily life, including depictions of people from different social classes, occupations, and activities.

Minqi figures from the Tang Dynasty provide valuable insights into the cultural and social life of the time. They depict scenes from daily life, such as musicians playing instruments, dancers performing, scholars reading, merchants conducting business, and farmers tending to their fields. These figurines capture the diversity and dynamism of Tang society, illustrating the mingling of different social strata and the vibrancy of urban and rural life during this period.

Crafted from materials such as ceramic, pottery, and occasionally metal, Tang Dynasty Minqi figures were meticulously detailed and displayed a high level of craftsmanship. Artisans paid close attention to facial expressions, clothing, and accessories, infusing these figures with a sense of realism and vitality.