Han Dynasty Kneeling Court Attendant


A finely modelled Eastern Han Dynasty hollow-moulded court lady, portrayed in a kneeled position, with arms outstretched frontally, as in holding an object. The figure is presented wearing the traditional Eastern Han Dynasty court attire, known as shenyi, consisting of a long bright blue vest tied to the waist and long, flaring sleeves, revealing a bright orange undergarment. The dark hair is arranged in a low braid and embellished by a red band placed across her forehead. Facial features, such as eyes and eyebrows, are rendered through a delicate black paint, while the lips are painted in bright red. The original white, orange, red and black pigments are still perfectly visible to the statuette’s surface. Such colours would have been applied after firing, with the result that they would have been more prone to flaking. However, in this case, the original colours have preserved themselves extremely fine, maintaining their original brightness.

Date: Circa 25-220 AD
Period: Eastern Han Dynasty
Condition: Extremely fine, with original pigments still visible to the surface.


Grave goods were an important status symbol in ancient China, so the affluent and important would be accompanied in their travels through the afterlife with numerous depictions of people, items and animals. Statuettes of court ladies, such as this fine example, would have been placed in the tomb to assist and entertain the deceased in the afterlife.

To discover more about Chinese terracotta statuettes, please visit our relevant blog post: Terracotta Tomb Attendants.

Weight 320.2 g
Dimensions W 9.7 x H 14.4 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


You may also like…