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Horse

Horse

Date: 850-900 ca

Media: earthenware

Size: x x , x x , x x , x x

Acquired: 1987; Purchase

Accession Number: NMW A 32201

This pottery horse was made for a rich person’s tomb, as a reminder of their daily life. Funerary figures played a central role in funeral processions and burials during the Tang dynasty (618-906). Figures were placed on a cart during the funeral procession, then lined up in front of the tomb and finally, after the deceased had been placed inside the burial chamber, positioned within the tomb in strictly determined positions. There was fierce competition in the use of such figures, which were a sign of the social status of the deceased, resulting in limits being imposed on the number of figures permitted in funeral processions. This figure may represent one of the dancing horses specially trained in the stables of the imperial court at Chang’an (modern Xi’an), the Tang capital.

This work is currently on display.

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