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. Since the Han Dynasty, it was common practice to bury terracotta miniature of utilitarian and ornamental objects with the deceased; such items are known as mingqi, “spirit utensils” or “vessels for ghosts”. Mingqi 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. Anthropomorphic and zoomorphic terracotta reproductions were popular too, designed to assist and entertain the deceased and to recreate the world of the living.
Ming Dynasty Glazed Miniature Chest
A nicely modelled Ming Dynasty miniature offering in the shape of a large chest with handles. The piece is glazed in bright orange, with the handles cold-painted in brown colour. Terracotta miniatures of this type would have been made for funerary purposes, buried with the deceased in the belief that he or she would need such items in the afterlife.
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Very fine condition.