Sui-Tang Dynasty Unglazed Court Attendant Figurine

£ 350.00

A fine hollow-moulded unglazed terracotta statuette of a female court attendant dating to the Chinese Sui-Tang Dynasty. The figure appears standing in a reverent pose, with her left hand held to the chest, and wearing the traditional court attire, known as ruqun, gracefully modelled and further embellished with incised decorative lines. She appears to be wearing a very prominent headpiece, which displays a lunar crest shape.  Facial features are delicately rendered. A very elegant piece.

Date: Circa 581-907 AD
Period: Sui Dynasty-Tang 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: Very fine condition, repair to the neck. Some earthly encrustations to the surface.


In Ancient China, terracotta unglazed and low-fired glazed statuettes of animals and human figures, known in Chinese as mingqi, would have been placed in the deceased’s tomb to ensure companionship and service in the afterlife. Mingqi were usually modelled as an intimation of either common objects that once played a vital role in Sui and Tang Dynasty domestic life, or as zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures that were closely related to the deceased when they were alive. Terracotta figures of court attendants, such as this fine example, were made for the service and entertainment of the owner, ensuring that their journey in the underworld was a happy one.

To discover more about the Roger Moss Collection, visit our Provenance Collection Page.

Weight 500 g
Dimensions H 26 cm
Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item number 2015.500.7.3

You may also like…