Figure of a Foreign Groom / Painted Gray Pottery

Northern Wei Dynasty (386-535 AD) / Three Kingdoms 三國

24 inches high

Provenance: A Private West Coast Collection

Christie’s New York, 2 December 1993, lot 218

Exhibited: On Loan to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1996-2010


Standing with left arm bent upward and right arm down, in a position to hold the reins of a horse, wearing a three-quarter-length double-breasted red-painted tunic with folded lapels exposing his bare chest, a thin belt is tightly drawn at his waist highlighting his slightly swelling belly and a pouch attached at one hip, the face delicately modeled with sharp chiseled features accentuating his large nose and furrowed brows with deep-set large eyes suggestive of a central Asian heritage, his hair tied under a simple cap.


Compare with a similar figure modeled with feet together and wearing a non-lapeled tunic, illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 8, pls. 132 & 133 and another in the Tokyo National Museum, illustrated in ‘Special Exhibition Chinese Ceramics’ Catalogue, Tokyo, 1994, p.59, no. 82.


The result of Thermoluminescence test, Oxford 666q36 is consistent with the dating of this lot.