Sancai Glazed Ming Dynasty Horseman


A finely modelled sancai glazed earthenware statuette of a Ming Dynasty horseman, likely part of a larger group of a parade consisting of musicians and soldiers. The horseman is rendered in a naturalistic manner, wearing a traditional court attire and holding cymbals in his hands. The statuette is rendered in sancai technique, displaying a lovely brilliant green and ochre glaze. As customary for larger Ming attendant statues, the figure’s head is detachable. The statue is set on an integral rectangular base.


Date: Circa 1368–1644 AD
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Extremely fine with original sancai glaze. Repair to the rider's left arm and horse's right ear and mane.


These attendants are excellent examples of Ming Dynasty tomb pottery of this time. Terracotta moulded figures of people and animals were meant to be grave goods to be placed in tombs. It was believed that these figures would serve and assist the deceased in the afterlife. Figures of this type are called mingqi in Chinese, and usually depict servants, officials, soldiers, musicians, court attendants, dancers and, in the case of animals, horses and Bactrian camels. As in life, attendant figures are depicted standing nearby, waiting to fulfil the desires and needs of the deceased.

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


Weight 1500 g
Dimensions W 26.3 x H 33.4 cm



Pottery and Porcelain


You may also like…