Chinese Ming Dynasty Glazed Court Attendants


A selection of Chinese, Ming dynasty, hollow-moulded ceramic court attendants, depicted in deep blue and turquoise robes, and carrying a range of offerings. Each figure wears their dark hair in a tall top-knot, held in place with a thick red band. They each wear a green circlet with a large gem in the centre of the forehead and circular red earrings. The details of the head and feet are indented and would have been ‘cold-painted’ after firing, to contrast with the vivid blue glazes. Figurines of this type would have been placed in the tomb of the deceased to lead his way into the afterlife. Each figurine stands on a sloping circular base.

The figurines are priced INDIVIDUALLY, as A OR B options. Available for purchase also as a pair at £535 – please purchase via option Pair.

Date: Circa AD 1368–1644
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Fine condition. Some loss of glaze and a few surface abrassions, consistant with age.
Choice of item A B Pair
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The rich blue and vivid turquoise colours on these figures are reminiscent of ‘Fahua ware’ figurines and pottery. Fahua ware refers to a colour palette used for decoration, which includes deep blue, turquoise, purple, yellow, and green.

Grave goods were an important status symbol in ancient China. A large number of attendants have been found in ancient Chinese tombs, indicating the need for assistance in the afterlife. As in life, attendant figures are depicted standing nearby, waiting to fulfil the desires 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 collection page: Terracotta Tomb Attendants.

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Pottery and Porcelain


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