Han Dynasty Terracotta Entertainer


A hollow moulded Chinese Han Dynasty terracotta entertainer statuette. The figurine appears with his arms raised, as in the middle of a dance act, wearing a robe which still displays some original pigmentation. The statuette’s face is painted in pale pink and features are modelled with red paint for the lips and fine dark lines for the eyes. Its high bun hairstyle is decorated with dark pigment.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd Century AD
Period: Han Dynasty
Provenance: The C. Roger Moss OBE collection. The late C. Roger Moss OBE was a renowned art collector who, throughout the years, thanks to his determination and enthusiasm, was able to create an outstanding collection of artworks, most prominently from China and the Orient, but also from other cultures.
Condition: Fine, some chips off the base and the end of the right sleeve.


The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China (206 BC–220 AD), and its art is notable for aiming to give form to everyday people and objects. It was a period of significant economic growth, and this facilitated discovery and innovation: technical possibilities in the arts increased as a result, enabling artists to push boundaries. The art of the Han dynasty is largely decorative, a shift away from the functional, ritualistic art of the previous Qin dynasty. This statuette was likely a ‘mingqi’, a burial figurine, viewed as a sort of utensil for the afterlife, and usually depicting everyday objects and people, like dancers, court attendants, and servants. Mingqi figurines of dancers and musicians would have been placed in the tomb with the deceased to ensure company and entertainment.

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

Weight 78 g
Dimensions H 10 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item number 36.12.6

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