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Saddled Horse


Period China, Six dynasties, 5th - 6th c.
Materials and techniques Earthenware painting with unfired pigments
Size H.89.7 Overall L.112.0 W.31.0


The practice of burying furnishing goods called mingqi (spirit objects) showed remarkable development during the Han period of China, and many of such mingqi of figures, animals, and daily utensils claimed relevant and liked by the deceased were produced. This work is one of the horse burial figurines of the Northern Wei dynasty executed very realistically, the high –fired unglazed body in grey is painted with white and red pigments.
After the successful suppression of the western regions by the Emperor Wu (Han), saddled horses brought in from the west were greatly favored by noble men and they spend immense sum of money to purchase an excellent horse of sturdy built and a good figure. The beautifully trimmed mane of the saddled horse also depicts the fact of history.

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