A finely modelled hollow-moulded terracotta Chinese Tang period statuette depicting an ox, portrayed standing on a flat, rectangular base, with its head slightly raised. The statuette displays traces of the original red slip. Anatomical features are rendered in a naturalistic manner, with much attention given to details.
Date: Circa 618-906 AD Period: Tang Dynasty Condition: Fine condition, original red slip visible to the surface. Signs of aging and earthly encrustations.
Tang ceramic production reached its peak with terracotta moulded zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures, known in Chinese as mingqi. Such statuettes would have been placed in Chinese graves, to assist, protect and entertain the deceased in the afterlife. Statuettes of oxes, such as this fine example, would have been placed in the deceased’s tomb to perform labour in the afterlife. Goods animals used on an estate were expected to carry on such work for their owner even after his death.
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