Ming Dynasty Altar Table with Offerings


A finely modelled Ming Dynasty sancai glazed pottery altar table, modelled in relief and supporting seven offerings, including a pork’s head, two stacked fruit plates, a stack of a bow tie form, a stack of rolls, a jar and an incense holder. The offerings are rendered in a meticulous manner, with incised details and bright ochre, green and brown pigment. Such terracotta compositions would have been made for funerary purposes, buried with the deceased in the belief that he or she could enjoy their favourite foods in the afterlife.

Date: Circa 1368–1644 AD
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Extremely fine, complete and intact.


The Ming Dynasty played host to some of China’s most renowned artistic achievements. The culture’s artistic explosion can be in part explained by the Ming dynasty’s economic success. In ancient China it was common practice to bury terracotta miniature of utilitarian and ornamental objects with the deceased. These objects were offered to assist and help the deceased in the afterlife, and they would have been modelled in the shape of cooking utensils, miniature replicas of their houses, as well as a range of furniture and other items.

Weight 4600 g
Dimensions W 27.8 x H 29.4 cm



Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For similar: Christies, Amsterdam, Sale 2859, 22nd-23rd March 2011, lot 24

You may also like…