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Tang Sancai-Glazed Horse - H.677
Origin: China
Circa: 618 AD to 906 AD
Dimensions: 18.75" (47.6cm) high
Collection: Chinese
Style: T'ang
Medium: Sancai Terracotta

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The great influence of the horse throughout the history of China cannot be underestimated. In fact, the ancient expansion of the Chinese Empire was due in large part to the horse. The rapid mobility of horses allowed for quick communication between far away provinces. Likewise, the military role of horses aided in the defense of the borders from nomadic invaders as well as the conquest and submission of distant lands. The need to import stronger, faster steeds from Central Asia (as opposed to the local Mongol pony) led to the creation of the Silk Road. The importance of the horse in the history and culture of China can be viewed, in part, through the artistic legacy of this great civilization. In sculpture, painting, and literature, horses were glorified and revered. Furthermore, horses were believed to be relatives of the mythological dragon, reflecting their sacred status within society. This gorgeous brown horse is a splendid example of the T’ang Sancai glazed horse, one of the most beloved types of Chinese art. The horse is elegantly modeled and decorated with a painted orange saddle and spotted numnah and splendid green-glazed reigns and headstall, reflecting the luxurious regalia that horses were honored with. Overall, this sculpture is a testament to the revered status of the horse in Chinese culture, a love that reached new heights of expression during the T’ang Dynasty. - (H.677)

 

 

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