Tang Dynasty Standing Ox


A Chinese Tang dynasty earthenware ox, depicted with his head raised and mouth ajar. He is richly decorated with brown pigment, to create the effect of a patched coat. Across his back is a harness, with which he would have been attached to a cart. The raised head and open mouth suggests that the animal was agitated, perhaps at pulling his laden cart.

Date: 618 – 906 AD
Period: Tang Dynasty
Condition: Very fine, with rich pigment still remaining.


An item of this kind 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.

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

Weight 5 g
Dimensions L 35 x H 33 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, accession number 13.100.14a–c.

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