Lot 1964. A rare massive sancai-glazed pottery figure of a horse, Tang dynasty (618-907); 37 in. (94 cm.) high. Estimate USD 100,000 - USD 150,000. Price realised USD 194,500. © Christie's Image Ltd 2012
Well modeled standing foursquare on an arched base with the head turned slightly to the left, the head well detailed with expressive eyes and slightly flared nostrils set below a split forelock and pricked ears, the curve of the muscular neck emphasized by the hogged mane, the saddle covered with an amber-glazed cloth, with florets decorating the harness and the trappings which are hung with tassels, all glazed in amber, green, and cream tones.
Provenance: Estate of Frank Michaelian, New York; Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc., New York, 5 May 1979, lot 187.
Note: This magnificent, and impressively large horse with its cream-colored coat and amber mane and tail, is unusual in its attractive coloring and the details of its trappings. The ceramic horses of the Tang dynasty were either decorated with sancai (three-color) glazes, like the current horse, or were unglazed and painted. Both techniques were extremely successful. The sancai-glazed group exhibits brilliant, lasting colors which emphasized the horses' powerful bodies.