Selection of Tang Dynasty Court Attendants



A selection of two Tang Dynasty court attendant figures, known in Chinese as mingqi, hollow moulded in red terracotta and displaying the original pigments. After-firing applied pigments are usually more prone to flaking. However, in this case, the original colours have preserved themselves extremely fine, maintaining their original brightness. Each figure has been carefully modelled, with emphasised foreigners’ facial features, such as the almond-shaped eyes, brows and moustaches. The figures’ dynamic poses suggest that such statuettes would have been placed with the deceased in the grave, as horse or camel’s grooms.


Date: Circa 618-906 AD
Period: Tang Dynasty
Condition: Extremely fine, with original pigments still intact. Figure B has had repairs to left arm. Each statuette has been thermoluminescence tested at Laboratory Kotalla.
Choice of item A B
Clear selection

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 and protected one.

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

Weight 3 g
Dimensions cm
Choice of item



Pottery and Porcelain

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