Tang Dynasty (618 -907)
Height: 40 cm.
An Oxford Authentication Thermoluminescence Analysis Report, sample no. Cl 198s34 confirms the dating of this equestrian.
Astonbury Investments, Toronto
Private Collector, Toronto, Canada
Published and Exhibited
Weisbrod 30 years, Anniversary Exhibition, 2002, New York.
A male rider with hands in position to pull on reins sits on a saddled horse. His hair is pulled up and tied in a topknot. A long belted green coat having ruffled sleeves and amber lapels covers his green pants. The tall boots and saddle are painted in black cold pigments as is the hair, eyes and eyebrows, while the lips are picked out in red pigment.
Under the saddle is a green, amber and straw splash glazed saddle blanket with an incised line border. The horse stands with its four legs at the corners of the unglazed, slightly bowed pottery base. The well-modeled head is turned towards one side with nostrils flared, mouth open revealing the bared teeth, eyes bulging, ears pricked around the sharply modeled jaw With incised details. A Straw glaze with pale green streaks covers the horse except for bright amber patches on the haunches, head, chest, ears, cropped mane, rump, rear legs, and tail. Harnesses in black pigment extend from the saddle around the chest and over the rump under the tail.
This sancai horse and rider is of a type fired at a higher than usual temperature resulting in brighter than usual glaze and Often details painted in deep black pigment.
Another equestrian from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. David Spelman was exhibited in The Arts of China, Long Island University. Greenvale, New York, 1977. catalogue, number 76.
Subsequently this same equestrian was in the collection of C.C. Wang, illustrated in Bronze, Clay and Stone: Chinese An in the C.C. Wang Family Collection, plate by Juliano.
Two horses and riders are in Three-Colour Glaze Pottery of the Tang dynasty, volume l, plate 34 by Chang Wan-li. One of these is with a white horse in the Nelson-Atkins Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri and the other with a brown and white horse in the Freer Gallery of An, Washington. D.C. These two are part of a well known group of sixteen glazed pottery equestrians excavated before 1943 in Luoyang now believed to be the examples in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; the Musée Guimet, Paris; Allen Memorial Art Museum. Oberlin, Ohio; The Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven as well as another one in the Freer Gallery.
A similar rider on a white horse with brown splashes is illustrated in Zhongguo Gudai Taosu Yishu, plate 55, excavated at Luoyang, Henan Province.