A grey pottery model of a pack horse, Northern Wei dynasty (AD 386-534)

Lot 1104. A grey pottery model of a pack horse, Northern Wei dynasty (AD 386-534), 7 in. (17.9 cm.) long. Estimate USD 2,000 - USD 3,000Price realised USD 2,750© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The horse is well modeled standing foursquare on a rectangular base and gazing straight ahead with ears pointed in opposite directions, a bulging sack set over a saddle cloth with flared ends is draped over the back, and the rump and muzzle are applied with plain strap trappings.

ProvenanceThe Aurelius Parenti Collection of Chinese Ceramic Sculpture; Christie's New York, 3 June 1988, lot 188.
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York.

NoteHorses carrying heavy packs have been found in Northern Wei tombs, such as a similar example from the tomb of Lady Gao, dated 524, in Quyangxian, Hebei provinces. See Kaogu, 1972, no. 5., pl. IX, fig. 2. See also the example from Wuqiao, Hebei, illustrated in Wenwu, 1984, no. 9, p. 25, fig. 7.

Compare, also, the pack horse in the Avery Brundage Collection at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, included in the China Institute of America exhibition, Arts of the Six Dynasties, Cat. no. 36; the example illustrated by E. Schloss, Ancient Chinese Ceramic Sculpture, vol. II, pl. 44B; and the example from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Bernat, sold at Sotheby's New York, 7 November 1980, lot 41.

Horse with pack, Northern Wei dynasty (386-534)

Horse with pack, Northern Wei dynasty (386-534), China, Henan province or Hebei province. Low-fired ceramic. H. 5 5/8 in x W. 7 1/2 in x D. 4 in, H. 14.3 cm x W. 19.0 cm x D. 10.2 cm. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Gift of C. F. Hart, B69P5 © 2017 Asian Art Museum Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 14 - 15 September 2017, New York