A painted well-modelled pottery figure of a caparisoned horse, Eastern Wei dynasty (534-550)

A painted well-modelled pottery figure of a caparisoned horse, Eastern Wei dynasty (534-550)© Christie's Image 2003

Well modelled in a powerful stance and with sensitively detailed face, the rich trappings including a foliate-decorated bridle, a rope tied around the top of the arched neck, large tassels on the chest strap and floret-decorated domed bosses on the crupper straps above three pendent tasseled ornaments on either side, with traces of diamond pattern visible on the long red saddle cloth gathered either side atop the flared mud guards, traces of gilding, red, brownish-red, blue, brown and green pigment and white slip - 15¼in. (38.7cm.) high - Lot 201. Estimate $25,000 - $35,000Price Realized $28,680 

Property from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Breece III

Notes: Stylistically, the present horse is very similar to one unearthed in Cixian, Hebei province in 1979 from the tomb of an Eastern Wei princess of the Ruru nationality. See Wenwu, 1984:4, pl. 5, fig. 2, and p. 6, fig. 7, no. 3, for a line drawing of the horse. Compare, also, two other similar Eastern Wei horses, one in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, illustrated by V. Bower and R. Mowry, From Court to Caravan: Chinese Tomb Sculptures from the Collection of Anthony M. Solomon, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002, p. 92, no. 19; and one included in Early Dynastic China: Works of Art from Shang to Song, J. J. Lally & Co., New York, 26 March - 26 April 1996, no. 5.

The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. C100h24 is consistent with the dating of this lot. 

CHRISTIE'S. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 18 September 2003, New York, Rockefeller Plaza