A Pair of Chinese Ming Sancai Glazed Court Attendants

£ 750.00

A pair of finely glazed, hollow-moulded ceramic Ming male court attendants who are depicted wearing typical Ming court robes with rich folds and detailed draperies along their garments. Each figure is portrayed wearing a typical high court cap, standing on a glazed octagonal base in a solemn and sincere pose. One of their arms naturally extends downward, the hand concealed under the edges of the flared, loose sleeves, whilst the other hand forms a tight fist in front of their chests. Their facial features are rendered delicately, with clearly engraved eyes and nostrils, with sensual lips painted in pinkish-red pigments.

The price is for the pair.

Date: Circa 16th century AD
Period: Ming Dynasty
Provenance: From the collection of a West Country gentleman, formed in 1970s.
Condition: Good condition, with original pigments visible to the surface. Both figurines' heads are removable.

In stock

These figurines would have been displayed amongst the processional group within a tomb, most likely before a sedan chair or palanquin and before the musician figures. They would have served a ceremonial purpose – to announce the arrival of the tomb occupant. The Ming dynasty played host to some of China’s most renowned artistic achievements. Sancai, usually referring to a colouring technique, that was frequently employed on traditional Chinese pottery using glazes or slips, dominated by three colours of amber, green and a creamy off-white. Sancai, as one of the most prevailing Chinese colouring inventions,  might have first appeared in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), and it mostly occurred on Tang tomb figures. The nuanced variations in Sancai colouring and the more delicate renderings were applied on utilitarian porcelains and burial figurines in the Ming Dynasty.

Weight 3650 g
Dimensions W 10.5 x H 41 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


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