Selection of Ming Dynasty Glazed Horse and Handler Figurines

£ 900.00

A selection of three figurines, each depicting a standing horse with their handler beside them on a flat base. Each horse is fitted with a bridle and saddle, glazed to match their handler’s clothing. Each handler has one arm raised, and would originally have held a reign that led through the holes pierced in the bits in the horses’ mouths (now lost). The handlers wear loose robes and trousers, with their hair tied in a top-knot. The horses are rendered in lovely detail, with painted eyelashes, and small triangular ears with red centres peeking through their manes.



Date: Circa 1368–1644 AD
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Good condition. Some loss of pigment and earthly encrustations to surface.
£ 900.00
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These attendants are excellent examples of Ming Dynasty tomb pottery of this time. Terracotta moulded figures of people and animals were meant to be grave goods to be placed in tombs. It was believed that these figures would serve and assist the deceased in the afterlife. Figures of this type are called mingqi in Chinese, and usually depict servants, officials, soldiers, musicians, court attendants, dancers and, in the case of animals, horses and Bactrian camels. As in life, attendant figures are depicted standing nearby, waiting to fulfil the desires and needs of the deceased.

The Ming dynasty played host to some of China’s most renowned artistic achievements – famed, of course, for its vases, but also works such as Shen Zhou’s ‘Lofty Mount Lu’. The culture’s artistic explosion can be in part explained by the Ming dynasty’s economic success.

To discover more about Chinese terracotta statuettes and horses in Chinese culture, please visit our relevant blog posts: Terracotta Tomb Attendants and The Horse in Chinese Art and Culture.

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Pottery and Porcelain


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