Global Art & Artifacts

Han Dynasty Ancient Clay Horse Head, China

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures


I bought this from a very reputable antiquities dealer in London England with no discrete documentation or TL dating.  However, recently I did additional research on the clay, coloring and the Han Imperial Dynasty (~ 200BC – 200 AD) features.


The size is right, the coloring is right and the style is typical of a facial expressions used on these funerary figures.


There is little doubt that this powerfully sculpted horse head is of the Han styling and highly recognized as the finest of funerary and tomb art (mingqi art).  In this case it is represented as “spirit art”…. and represents a favorite horse . . .  or just as a sign of the power of its master.  Such heads would accompany the Han elite into the afterlife, providing protection of its master wealth and statue.


There have been a few repairs as well as a few cracks.  Note the faint colors on the nose and neck.   It is a phenomenal piece.  It was unearthed from Luoyang (Henan Province) and held by the Perry estate for a number of years.  I did not find the name on the tomb.  The photographs speak to its condition.


From all indications it does appear to be from the Han Dynasty.  A modest glass case with wood base could be included but not shown.


This item is very rare.  For the Serious Collector only.


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