Han Dynasty Horse 206 BC- 209 AD


Product Code:22031801

1 in stock

1 in stock


Heading :  A Han Dynasty Horse
Date : 206BC to 209AD
Period : Han Dynasty
Marks : None
Origin : China
Colour :  Grey pottery. Some of the cold painted colour remains.The remnants of black paint remain on the horse and a white saddle with red trim. The rider had a red embroidered jacket with cream cuffs and boots.
Features : The horse is standing four square with ears pricked. There is a piercing in  the horses mouth and the riders hands are raised. These too have piercings that would have held leather reins
Condition : Very Good. The painted face is still remarkably detailed after 2000 years
Restoration : The front left leg has been restored
Dimensions : Height 29cms
Weight : 1959 grams

Provenance: The former Property of an English Lord

Reference :

See Christies Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art 6th November 2018 Lot 11

It is interetsing to note the position of the riders feet. They are gripping the shoulder of the horse. Double riding stirrups were not used in China until the 4th century when the deployment of cavalry came to dominate Chinese warfare. There was a long standing myth in China that the hose was related to the dragon.The Han dynasty encouraged equine husbandry one can only asume that this was to increase agricultural capacity and military strength.Horse stealing became punishable by death such was their elevated status.

The horse was also introduced into worship practices and ceremony. Please note the very strong brow on this horse and the dragon like head.

This is less refined than the beautifully sculpted Tang dynasty horses that are remarkably elegant with accurate physical attributes. In the Tang dynasty the horses  legs were reinforced. The earlier Han dynasty period examples were not and the legs have almost invariably been cracked and restored.

May we extend our thanks to John and also Joe Hongxing whose expertise on this matter has been invaluable.

Additional information

Weight4000 g


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