A Tang Dynasty Equestrian Rider


A powerfully modelled equestrian rider. The horses are portrayed in an active pose, with neck arched to the side, mouth agape as if about to bite, and ears pricked. The musculature is well defined, and most of the original slip remains. Additional red and black pigments define the eyes and mouth, and pick out the details of the equipment, such as the decorated blanket, saddle, and trappings. The tails are shown docked and bound, and the horses stand on a rectangular base. The riders are depicted in differing riding stances, though they are similarly dressed in a cap and tunic, which covers the breaches and reaches to the top of their boots and trousers. Details are picked out and enhanced with painting; the flesh in pink, their attire in red, black and some pale blue.


Date: 7th-10th cent. AD
Period: Tang Dynasty
Condition: Very Fine, complete and intact. Some rubs to the painting but generally extant.
Choice of item B
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SKU: AS-3747 Category: Tags: , , ,

Horses hold great symbolism within Chinese art, as asserted by Mu Yang (14BC – 49AD, a Han general and horse expert): “Horses are the foundation of military power, the great resources of the state but, should this falter, the state will fall”

To discover more about Tang statuettes, please visit our relevant blog post: Terracotta Tomb Attendants.


Weight 12 g
Dimensions H 54 cm



Pottery and Porcelain

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Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, accession number 54.169.

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