Chinese Art :
Han Dynasty : Han Period terracotta figure of a mule
Han Period terracotta figure of a mule - DK.073
5.5" (14.0cm) high
x 7" (17.8cm) depth
Additional Information: Korea
Location: Great Britain
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The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty
of China (206 BC–220 AD). Spanning over four
centuries, the Han period was an age of
economic prosperity and saw a significant growth
of the money economy, thus it is rightly
considered a golden age in Chinese history.
The emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society.
He presided over the Han government but shared
power with both the nobility and appointed
ministers who came largely from the scholarly
The Han Empire was divided into areas directly
controlled by the central government using an
innovation inherited from the Qin known as
commanderies, and a number of semi-
To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers
to itself as the "Han people" and the Chinese
script is referred to as "Han characters".
Han animal terracotta figures are famous for
their style and recognised as being amongst the
finest of all ancient Chinese ming qi art.
This powerfully created Han Dynasty mule, in a
naturalistic style and dating to 150 BC - 100 AD,
has an imposing sense of monumentality,
accentuated by its rectangular base.
The animal is captured in all it’s down-to-earth
utilitarian efficiency, with powerful musculature,
angular jaw and a dignified aura.
Figures such as this were made to accompany the
Han elite into the afterlife, providing protection
and acting as a display of wealth and status.