Global Art & Artifacts

Terracotta Soldier Warrior Head. Officer.  Replica.  Qin Shi Huang.  Xi’an City.  China

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures

 

 

In the early spring of 1974, workers sinking a well in Xiyang Village suddenly discovered an ancient bronze weapon and pieces of broken terracotta armored warriors.  That was the start.  Within two years, three pits were found and within 8,000 terracotta warriors, horses and more than 100 chariots.

 

But that was just the beginning.

 

Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty from 221-206 B.C., was a powerful feudal ruler with great talent and a bold vision.  He was superstitious about longevity and sent alchemists with several thousand children to search for a longevity concoction in the East China Sea.  And then there was the mausoleum project . . .  taking three-quarter of a million laborers, 37 years.

 

And he wanted to take an army with him.  About a mile away from his mausoleum, he created an immense underground military museum . .  never mentioned in China’s history books.

 

Not-So-Fun Fact:  The terracotta warriors were elaborately decorated with a variety of mineral-based paints, with each inch covered in reds, greens, pinks, browns, whites, blacks and – of course – the long-lost colors of Han purple and Han blue.  For 2,200 years these pigments were able to survive in the cool and humid underground tomb.  But when the warriors were discovered and exposed to the air . . . well, it only took about 15 seconds until the paint curled, flaked and faded.  Within four minutes the colors were lost.

 

There were infantry, cavalry and charioteers.  I have looked at countless photos of the various faces for each type of warrior … and their headgear.  This sculpture is of an officer with the appropriate headgear for that rank.

 

What is especially relevant is the post/neck.  Many of the bodies were cast separate from the head.  The head was attached after the body was erected.  The angle of the “post” is most likely the angle of the original heads when inserted in the body.

 

So, this head will not sit erect on its own.  I am including a tubular stand that allows the head to be displayed upright.

 

I purchased this from a collector in France who received it as a gift from a Chinese diplomat.

 

A few surface scrapes that expose the terracotta.  Other than that, no chips.

 

It’s a rare find for a Serious Collector.

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