Han Dynasty Carved Wood Female Attendant

£ 250.00

A beautifully carved and rare Chinese Han Dynasty wood court attendant figurine. The slender female figure, carved out of a single piece of wood, is presented standing in a reverent pose, wearing the traditional Han Dynasty court attire, known as shenyi, consisting of a long vest, tied to the waist and long, flaring sleeves. The female figure features a high bun hairstyle. Details to her robes, such as the collar and sleeves, are softly carved in the wood and her facial features are finely chiseled, with almond shaped eyes, soft lips and nose beautifully modelled.

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. His great love for ancient cultures and study for interesting and unusual artefacts informs his collection.
Condition: Extremely fine, very well preserved. Some earthly deposits to the surface.


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, court attendants 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.





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