Ming Dynasty Sancai Glazed Offerants


A pair of tall, hollow-moulded pottery courtly figures. Each figure is similarly decorated in a rich glaze – mainly green, with sections enlivened by yellow – and stands on a raised hexagonal base. Each figure stands in long-sleeved robes, with an offering held to the front – one a dish, the other a rectangular object, possibly a chest. The heads are unglazed, and have been separately and individually crafted, perhaps to reflect individuals in the service of the owner. They are loose-fitted into the recess in the neck.


Date: Circa 16th century AD
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Both figures complete and intact with rich colouration and some iridescence.
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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 and items. These were made for the service and entertainment of the owner, ensuring that their journey in the underworld was a happy one.

The Ming dynasty played host to some of China’s most renowned artistic achievements – famed, of course, for its vases, but also works such as Shen Zhou’s ‘Lofty Mount Lu’. The culture’s artistic explosion can be in part explained by the Ming dynasty’s economic success.

N.B. Price for a single figure is £650. Price for the pair is £1300.

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

Weight 5.3 g
Dimensions H 49 cm



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