Live Auction

The December 2023 Auctions: Day One

Thu, Dec 14, 2023 11:00AM EST
Lot 201

Chinese Tang Dynasty (唐朝) Style Polychrome Earthenware Sancai Ferghana Horse, 8th C.E., H 19.25" W 6.25" L 20.5" + Rosewood Display Cabinet

Estimate: $1,000 - $3,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $5
$30 $10
$100 $25
$400 $50
$900 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$150,000 $10,000

Having a calm demeanor with round eyes and is adorned with a veiled headpiece, a chest cover, and an autumn-themed belt. Decorated with large scrolling foliate appliques. On its back rests a saddle, covered by an outer layer, with a carved cushion and mud barrier beneath. Presented on fitted wood base, measuring H 21" overall. Circa 8th century C.E. These horses represent the high point of ceramic art during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China. The Tang Dynasty is often considered a golden age for Chinese art and culture, and the Sancai technique is one of its most famous artistic achievements. Owning such intricately made and beautifully glazed pottery was a symbol of wealth and status. They were often found in the tombs of the wealthy and the nobility, indicating their importance in Chinese society. In ancient China, horses were believed to have spiritual significance and were often associated with power and prestige. They were also thought to have the ability to travel between the earthly and spiritual realms. Placing these figures in tombs was believed to serve as guardians for the deceased in the afterlife or to provide transportation for them in the next world. Provenance: Kazuo Kotera Ltd. Oriental Works of Art, 245, Shinmonzen-St. Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto, Japan; July 22, 1983. Property from a private West Bloomfield Township, Michigan estate.


When viewed under UV light, skillful conservation and inpainting were observed to the scattered fractures of horse's caparison and ornamentation. When viewed under natural light, edge wear and associated surface losses were observed, notably to the caparison and ornamentation. The edge wear and associated losses commensurate with age and use. | Please note all lots show signs of wear commensurate with age and use, and the lack of a statement regarding condition does not imply the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from defects or the effects of aging. Unless otherwise stated, all information provided is the opinion of DuMouchelles' specialists. Should you have any specific questions regarding the condition of this lot, please use the “Request Condition Report” or “Ask a Question” buttons or email conditions@dumoart.com.