Lot 48A: Pair of Chinese Tang Dynasty Pottery Female Attendants
27 October 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Far East, China, Tang Dynasty, ca. 618 to 907 CE. A pair of molded terracotta figural female attendants, with cold painted decoration in added white. The attendants stand wearing layered robes with hands held across her chest, hair upswept in tight bun atop her head. After a mold was used to form figures like this into basic shapes, artists would then use scrapers and hand-modelling to give them their individuality. Pottery figures like this example were carefully placed in the tombs of high-ranking people during the Tang period in order to serve the needs of the elite deceased in the afterlife. The Tang Dynasty was a golden age in China, when its control of oases along the Silk Road engendered both the export of Chinese goods and the import of people and ideas from places like India, Persia, and even further afield. The capital city, Changan (modern day Xian) had 2 million inhabitants, making it one of the largest cities in the world at the time, and there was a large class of literati and artisans supported by the government who lived there. This artisan class had the luxury to produce these beautiful unique figures. A wonderful pair. Size: taller figure measures 8.125" H (20.6 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Rosensteel collection
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Condition Report: Losses to tops of coiffures and bases of both. Expected surface wear with nicks, slip cracks and losses, and encrustation as shown.