Fine Han Dynasty Court Entertainer with Mobile Arm


A fine and rare hollow-moulded terracotta statuette of a court entertainer from the Chinese Han Dynasty. The figure is portrayed kneeling, with one arm, the hand now missing, rested on his lap, and the other arranged in a mobile mechanism through the employment of a hinge. Traces of white, pink and red pigments are visible on the body and facial features, red lips and large almond shaped eyes beautifully rendered with very fine lines, are painted over a layer of pale pink paint.

Date: Circa 202 BC-220 AD
Period: Han Dynasty
Provenance: The C. Roger Moss OBE collection. The late C. Roger Moss OBE was a renowned art collector who, throughout the years, thanks to his determination and enthusiasm, was able to create an outstanding collection of artworks, most prominently from China and the Orient, but also from other cultures.
Condition: Very fine and rare, pigmentation still visible.

In stock

The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China (206 BC–220 AD), and its art is notable for aiming to give form to everyday people and objects. It was a period of significant economic growth, and this facilitated discovery and innovation: technical possibilities in the arts increased as a result, enabling artists to push boundaries. The art of the Han dynasty is largely decorative, a shift away from the functional, ritualistic art of the previous Qin dynasty. This statuette was likely a ‘mingqi’, a burial figurine, viewed as a sort of utensil for the afterlife, and usually depicting everyday objects and people, like dancers, court attendants, and servants. Mingqi figurines of dancers and musicians would have been placed in the tomb with the deceased to ensure company and entertainment.

To discover more about the Roger Moss Collection, visit our Provenance Collection Page.

Weight 82.6 g
Dimensions H 9 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, see The Metropolitan Museum, item number  30.76.68

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