Lot 1109. A rare straw-glazed figure of an equestrienne, Tang dynasty (618-907), 14¾ in. (37.5 cm.) high. Estimate USD 4,000 - USD 6,000. Price realised USD 21,250. © Christie's Images Ltd 2011
The horse standing foursquare on a rectangular base, the female rider with left hand positioned to hold reins, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, a black scarf, a jacket with low-cut bodice over a long-sleeved blouse, and a long skirt under which she also wears pants, her hair worn in a long plait in back, with a quiver to her left side and a rolled cloth under her right arm where the long, tight sleeve can be seen to cover her hand, with traces of black, red, blue and green pigment on the yellowish-green straw glaze.
Provenance: Sotheby's, New York, 4 June 1982, lot 96.
Note: A painted straw-glazed pottery figure of an equestrienne of this type, wearing a similar hat over a black scarf, and similar riding costume, is illustrated by James C.Y. Watt et al., China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 AD, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004, p. 291, no. 183. The figure was excavated from the tomb (dated 664) of Zheng Rentai, at Liquan, Shaanxi province, in 1971. The hat the rider is wearing is identified as a weimao. Another similar figure with the same long, narrow sleeves, also wearing a weimao hat over a scarf, was included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition, The Arts of the T'ang Dynasty, London, 1955, pl. 33 (bottom right).
Christie's. Magnificent Qing Monochrome Porcelains and Earlier Works of Art from the Gordon Collection, 24 March 2011, New York