A Large Painted Pottery Figure of a Pranking Horse, Tang Dynasty (618 - 917)


Horses in Tang-dynasty China were admired for their speed, with strength and intelligence, and not only were they important in the realms of travel and war, they also played a big role in the leisure activities of the noble, such polo horses for sport and trained dancing horses for entertainment. It was from this great love of horses that we see impressive tomb figures of horses standing foursquare, prancing (such as the current lot), and mid-gallop bearing a polo player in action, The vivacity of the current lot is expressed in its open mouth, alert expression, prancing posture, and the modelling of the jingling bells that decorate its harness.

The horse is naturalistically modelled with the right leg raised, the mouth open and the head turned slightly to the left. The saddle is covered with a cloth gathered on either side and the trappings are hung with tassels. There are painted with dark blue, brown dark and green under glaze. 38 cm High

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