Han Terracotta Horse Sculpture


A finely hollow- sculpted polychrome terracotta statuette depicting the upper body of a naturalistically rendered horse . It features an elegant, curved outline that reflects its strong physique and anatomical features, linking to the traditional Han practices of portraying horses in terracotta. Facial features are picked out in black, pinkish-red pigments, and the nostrils are delicately engraved. A gaping mouth is sculpted with details, from which its teeth are well-depicted. It features small perforations on its back and hip, suggesting this object might have been belonged to a large, complete sculpture and might have had a removable tail.


Date: Circa 202 BC- AD 220
Period: The Han Dynasty
Condition: Very fine condition, with original pigments still visible on the surface.


SKU: HL-290 Category: Tags: , , ,

Ancient Chinese terracotta statuettes, naturalistically depicted as animals and human figures that displayed in tombs, are known as Mingqi, having been made to serve the decedents in their afterlife. Images of horses are among the most favoured repertoires that were sculpted in ancient China. Horses have been complimented as the symbol of strength, masculinity, and superiority within traditional Chinese culture Terracotta statuettes, such as this fine example, are known as Mingqi (冥器) and were meant to be grave goods to be placed in tombs, as it was believed that these figures would serve and assist the deceased in the afterlife.

To discover more about Chinese  statuettes of horse, please visit our relevant collection post: The Horse in Chinese Art and Culture 

Weight 2000 g
Dimensions L 32.1 x W 8.4 x H 26.1 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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