Pair of Tang Dynasty Horse & Rider


A pair of finely rendered Tang Dynasty terracotta moulded figurines depicting a male and female horse rider. Both figurines are rendered in a naturalistic manner and wearing the traditional Tang court outfits: the lady is shown wearing a hat and a colourful, long robe, known as ruqun, while the gentlemen is shown wearing a short-sleeved tunic and a pleated skirt, with his hair arranged in a top knot. Facial features are delicately rendered in black and red pigment, applied after firing. The horses’ muscular anatomy has been nicely rendered and further details, such as the bridles and saddles, have been picked up in black and yellow pigments. Both horses stand on a rectangular platform.


Female Rider: 37.5cm height x 30.1cm width, 1450g weight

Male Rider: 40.1cm height x 31.5cm width, 1850g weight

N.B. This item will require additional postage charges after checkout due to weight and size. Price is for the pair.

Date: Circa 618-907 AD
Period: Tang Dynasty
Condition: Fine, complete and intact with original pigment still intact.


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, items and animals. Such terracotta figures were made for the service and entertainment of the owner, ensuring that their journey in the underworld was a happy one. Terracotta tomb attendants seemed to have first appeared during the Western Han Dynasty. However, it is during Tang China that the cultural tradition of displaying wealth in elite tombs reached its peak, with an increased production of terracotta statuettes.

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

Weight 1850 g
Dimensions W 31.5 x H 40.1 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For similar: Christie’s, London, December 2007, Auction 5102, Lot 1156.

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