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HOME : Chinese Art : Tang Horses : Pair of Tang Horses
Pair of Tang Horses - LSO.50
Origin: 'Shaanxi Province' - 'Xi'an, China
Circa: 618 AD to 907 AD
Dimensions: 12.25" (31.1cm) high
Collection: Chinese Art
Medium: Terracotta

Location: Great Britain
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It would be hard to overestimate the importance of the horse to ancient Chinese cultures. The expansion, consolidation and maintenance of the empire would have been impossible without horses, the social stature of which was so notable that they were believed to be related to dragons, and therefore sacred. The reverence for thoroughbred horses (rather than Mongolian ponies) led to the development of the Silk Route. The fact that the horse held such a prominent position in the lives of ancient Chinese populations may explain the amount of time and effort that went into creating civic and funerary equine sculptures, of which the current pair is such an excellent example. Standing around 12" tall, these sculptures are exceptional for their decoration and excellent preservation. The bodies were moulded with details of the saddle and other features, and were then painted with a creamy-yellow basecoat. The finer points of the surface detail - eyes, mane, saddle, reins and bridle - were then picked out in darker tones. A truly exceptional pair of ancient sculptures. - (LSO.50)


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