Chinese Han Dynasty Figure of Court Attendant


A very fine hollow-moulded terracotta male court attendant figure from the Chinese Han Dynasty period. The figure is presented standing and with both hands in the gesture of offering. He is wearing the traditional Han Dynasty court attire, known as shenyi, consisting of a long vest, thickened collar and tied to the waist through a belt. Beautiful carved detailing is rendered on the sleeves and to the figurine’s back the folds of the garment around the belt are naturalistically modelled. He is wearing a headpiece with a knot to the front, lightly damaged. Facial features are finely modelled in the terracotta and further enriched by fine detailing with dark pigments for the eyes and eyebrows. This type of figurine would have been mould-made, with detailing added later. Traces of the original cold-painted pigments visible to the surface.

N.B. This item will require additional postage charges after checkout due to weight and size.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd Century AD
Period: Han 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, traces of the original pigment visible to the surface.


SKU: CS-169 Category: Tags: ,

The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China (206 BC–220 AD), and its art is notable for aiming to give form to everyday people and objects. It was a period of significant economic growth, and this facilitated discovery and innovation: technical possibilities in the arts increased as a result, enabling artists to push boundaries. The art of the Han dynasty is largely decorative, a shift away from the functional, ritualistic art of the previous Qin dynasty. This statuette was likely a ‘mingqi’, a burial figurine, viewed as a sort of utensil for the afterlife, and usually depicting everyday objects and people, like dancers, court attendants, and servants. Mingqi figurines of court attendants, soldiers and guards would have been placed in the tomb with the deceased to ensure protection and service in the afterlife.

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

Weight 2000 g
Dimensions H 55 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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