Tang Dynasty Court Lady Figurine Holding Fruit


A finely decorated Chinese, Tang Dynasty terracotta ‘fat lady’ figurine. The court lady displays characteristics of what was thought as the ideal beauty during the Tang Dynasty. She is portrayed wearing a long, deep red robe which has been embellished with blossoms. The dress falls to her feet with detailed pleats showing the folds in the fabric. The robe has a square neckline with a lighter pink ribbon decorating the rims. The lady is portrayed in a relaxed stance with one hand, concealed by her long sleeve, holding a plate of food possibly fruit, while the other arm is outstretched with her palm facing slightly upwards. Her hair is shown in the popular up-do style of a chignon with the hair parted into two sections. Her face has been delicately painted displaying a red dot at the top of her forehead and plump blushed cheeks. The upturned green points of her elaborate shoes peep out from the folds of her dress.

Date: AD 618 - 907
Period: Tang Dynasty
Condition: Good Condition. Paint faded from age, some signs of wear. This piece is supplied with a positive TL test from Oxford Authentication, sample C122g72.

In stock

The Tang Dynasty saw a unified China. The era was a peaceful one, which allowed for the inclusion of new customs and travellers from outside of the country. Women’s roles within the empire were completely free and it was thought that they were liberated. The Tang Dynasty saw one of the most female influenced political periods within Chinese history, which is why women had such freedom. The aspect of new culture and ideas influenced art and fashions. Fat Lady Figures represent the tang beauty standards, the fashion of court robes changed to extenuate the fuller figure rather than the previous standard of slimmer body types. These figures are thought to be decorative and funerary items. These statues have been interpreted as a celebration of female beauty.

For more information on Tang Dynasty Fat Women, please see our blog post: The Importance of the Fat Lady in Chinese Tang Art

Weight 1700 g
Dimensions H 39.7 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For Similar: Christie’s Auction House, London, Auction 8497, Asian Decorative Art, 19th March 2001, lot 18

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