Important Tang Caparisoned Horse
S O L D
Gongyi region, Henan province
Tang Dynasty, early 8th century
Height 64 cm., wide 64 cm.
Provenance: old Dutch private collection. Amsterdam
Excursively detailed and beautifully proportioned, the horse stands with tall legs foursquare on a rectangular base, its head tucked in and turned slightly to the left. The face display nice expressions, with finely detailed, deeply set eyes with painted pupils and lashes, the yellow horse with open mouth and bared teeth. The manes differ: one is hogged. The animal has wide forelocks, parted between picked ears. The tail is docked-wrapped and tied in a turned-up position. The saddle of the horse sits atop a thick blanket covered with a long, orange saddle cloth gathered on each side into deep folds. The horse is harnessed with leather bridle, chest and crupper straps, as well as straps hanging pendant from the saddle cantle. All the straps are accented with square, rectangular, and T-shaped blue plaques decorated in low relief with stylized flower blossoms. The crupper strap is further embellished with leaf-shaped pendants, while the chest strap is garnished with tear-shaped tassels. The animal wears a decorative face frontlet on its foreheads. Paint is sparingly used in highlighting details, red for the mouths and ears, russet-brown for the leather harnesses and hogged mane, and black for the eyes.
The full mane, decorative harness straps, pendants, and forelocks were pressed from thin slabs of clay and appliqued in place. Hand-modelling was required to finish the saddles, tails, ears, and manes.
– The results of thermoluminescence tests are consistent with the dating of this object.
– Extra test: Pre-dose test has been done: Pre-dose test confirms old firing without any kind of artificial x-ray treatments!
– A certificate of authenticity by Becker Antiques (specialist in Chinese pottery since 1969, Amsterdam) will accompany the item.
It will be professionally packed and safely send in a wooden crate by FedEx.
Buyers are responsible for import regulation and restrictions of their own country
Becker Antiques is one of the most leading reputable antique dealers in the Netherlands. Becker Antiques is a name and place that speaks of excellent antiques and art, outstanding service and worldwide expertise. Founded in 1969 by Jan Simon Becker, Becker Antiques is based in Museum quarter, Amsterdam Oud-Zoud, in a magnificent five-floor townhouse build 1891, at a few minutes from “Rijksmuseum” (National Museum of Art), the Van Gogh Museum and the famous “Royal Concertgebouw”.
Becker Antiques main field covers ceramics – pottery funerary figures (dated from the Han through the Ming dynasties), Buddhist sculptures and other Chinese works of art. Our other sections are Asian works of art – concerns objects from Japan and South East Asian countries including bronze, stone and wooden sculptures, Chinese furniture from the Qing Dynasty and of course occasional other items.
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The Tang dynasty or Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty ruling China from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture.Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty.
The Lǐ family founded the dynasty, seizing power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire and inaugurating a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty’s rule. The dynasty was formally interrupted during 690-705 when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Wu Zhou dynasty and becoming the only legitimate Chinese empress regnant. The devastating An Lushan Rebellion (755–763) shook the nation and led to the decline of central authority in the dynasty’s latter half. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office. The rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order. The dynasty and central government went into decline by the latter half of the 9th century; agrarian rebellions resulted in mass population loss and displacement, widespread poverty, and further government dysfunction that ultimately ended the dynasty in 907.
The Tang capital at Chang’an (present-day Xi’an) was then the world’s most populous city. Two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries estimated the empire’s population at about 50 million people, which grew to an estimated 80 million by the dynasty’s end. From its numerous subjects, the dynasty raised professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers for control of Inner Asia and the lucrative trade-routes along the Silk Road. Far-flung kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang also indirectly controlled several regions through a protectorate system. The adoption of the title Khan of Heaven by the Tang emperor Taizong was eastern Asia’s first “simultaneous kingship”. In addition to its political hegemony, the Tang exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian nations such as Japan and Korea.
Chinese culture flourished and further matured during the Tang era. It is traditionally considered the greatest age for Chinese poetry. Two of China’s most famous poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, as did many famous painters such as Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, and Zhou Fang. Tang scholars compiled a rich variety of historical literature, as well as encyclopedias and geographical works. Notable innovations included the development of woodblock printing. Buddhism became a major influence in Chinese culture, with native Chinese sects gaining prominence. However, in the 840s Emperor Wuzong enacted policies to suppress Buddhism, which subsequently declined in influence.