Tang Glazed Figurine of Court Lady


A finely rendered Tang Dynasty moulded terracotta ash-glazed statuette of a court lady, depicted wearing the traditional Tang Dynasty court attire, known as ruqun, further embellished by a shawl worn down the shoulders. The dress features a long skirt, tied high to her chest, emphasizing the lady’s slender figure and leaving her feet uncovered. Differing from the typical Tang court robes that have wide and flaring sleeves, hers are represented narrow and tight, allowing both her hands to be free to hold an object, possibly a musical instrument or an offering. This elegant lady is presented with her hair arranged in a high bun,with few locks naturally covering her forehead, and wearing a delicate make-up.

Date: Circa 618-906 AD
Period: Tang Dynasty
Condition: Extremely fine, reattachment of the head from the neck. Glaze still visible to the surface.

In stock

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 one. Terracotta tomb attendants seemed to have first appeared during the Western Han Dynasty. However, it is during Tang China that the cultural tradition of displaying wealth in elite tombs reached its peak, with an increased production of terracotta statuettes. The skills of Tang artisans in working and glazing terracotta statuettes is testified in this beautiful example. The majority of Tang glazed figurines of court ladies have been usually left with the faces unglazed, which would have been painted after firing, allowing more precise details. In this case, however, the figurine’s neatly glazed facial features qualify this artefact as a rare find among its numerous counterparts.

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

Weight 661 g
Dimensions W 8 x H 32.4 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


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