Tang Painted Terracotta Warrior Guardian Figurine

£ 2,250.00

An extremely fine and good-sized Tang Dynasty moulded red terracotta warrior guardian figure, also known as a Zhenmuyong or Lokapala in the Buddhist tradition. The figure is presented dynamically standing in a contrapposto pose with one foot higher than the other, resting on a rock, and with both hands to his hips, providing a sense of nonchalance. The figure wears a full elaborate armour, with dragon-shaped epaulettes and divided breast plate, over a knee-length tunic. His hair is arranged in a top knot and facial features are emphasised by a ferocious expression.

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

Date: Circa 618-906 AD
Period: Tang Dynasty
Condition: Extremely fine, remaining of the original pigmentation still visible to the surface.


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. Terracotta warrior figures, such as this fine example, were originally placed at each side of the entrance of the tomb gate, which was located at the end of a long underground ramp used to expel evil spirits and to protect the deceased resting peacefully. Zhenmuyong statues were usually portrayed with ferocious foreign facial and anatomical features: to ensure the best protection for the deceased, such statuettes were modelled to represent the powerful foreigners that the Tang Dynasty often had to battle with.

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

Weight 2950 g
Dimensions W 22.3 x H 58.9 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For similar: Christie’s, Amsterdam, December 2010, Auction 2848, Lot 863.

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