Ming Dynasty Sancai Miniature Architectural Gate


A finely modelled Ming Dynasty sancai-glazed terracotta miniature gate, possibly part of a larger architectural composition. The piece is composed of a rectangular shape with scrolls to the top, and sits on two flat, rectangular bases. The shape of this gate echoes the Lingxing Gates at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, which was commissioned by Yongle Emperor between 1406 to 1420.

Date: Circa 1406-1644 AD
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Fine. Repair to right hand column and horizontal base.


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 houses and temples, as well as a range of furniture and other items. Such terracotta composition would have been made for funerary purposes, buried with the deceased in the belief that an ideal continuation was insured between the earthly life of the deceased and his or her life after death.

Weight 621.7 g
Dimensions W 19.2 x H 24.5 cm



Pottery and Porcelain


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