Chinese Ming Dynasty Attendant with Agricultural Tool


A Chinese Ming dynasty earthenware figure, styled in long, flowing robes which are coloured with a vivid green glaze. Additional features (such as the attendant’s sashes, hair tie, and clothing) have been accented in a deep amber yellow. The hair is tied into an elaborate top-knot and painted black. The dull-coloured hair and other areas left bare would have been ‘cold-painted’ after firing, contrasting with the vividness of the fired green and amber pigments. The figure holds a ceremonial item in his left hand, and this is probably an agricultural tool.


Date: Circa 1368–1644 AD
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Very good, with bright vivid glaze and additional cold-painted detailing still remaining.


A large number of attendants have been found in ancient Chinese graves, indicating the need for continued assistance in the afterlife. 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, please visit our relevant blog post: Terracotta Tomb Attendants.

Weight 212 g
Dimensions W 5.3 x H 18.6 cm



Pottery and Porcelain


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