A Large Sancai & Dark Ochre-Glazed Buff Pottery Caparisoned Horse

Tang Dynasty 唐 (618-907)

19 1/2 inches (49.5 cm) high


The exquisitely modeled horse standing four-square on a rectangular base with head tilted very slightly to its right, wearing a simple unglazed saddle and saddle cloth, the simple strap-work suspended with tassels around the body, the head with further strapwork and medallions. The head is extremely well-detailed in this example  with expressive eyes, and slightly flared nostrils set below a split forelock. The slight curve of the muscular neck is further emphasized by the neatly hogged main on the back of the neck. The high rounded hindquarters add to the overall grandeur of the piece.

See a similarly sized and decorated horse from the Schloss Collection, illustrated by Janet Baker, Seeking Immortality, The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, , Santa Ana, CA, 1996, fig 34 (and front cover), p. 46, no. 137. Or a larger caparisoned Fereghan horse with tassels suspended from the strapwork, see Christie's New York, November  27, 1991, lot 306 where another similarly decorated horse from the tomb of Prince Yide, buried in 706 A.D., in Qian County, Shaanxi province and illustrated in the Exhibition of Archaelogical Treasures Excavated in the People's Republic of China, Tokyo, 1973, catalogue, no. 202, is cited. See also Christie's New York,  23 March 2012, lot 1964, for another example.