A large painted pottery figure of a prancing horse, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 653. A large painted pottery figure of a prancing horse, Tang dynasty (618-907). Height 23 in., 58.4 cm. Estimate 30,000 — 50,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

well-modeled in spirited pose with a briskly raised right foreleg, the head with well articulated features, mouth agape, flaring nostrils, bulging eyes and a divided forelock swept to either side of the pricked ears, the arched neck with full flowing mane falling just short of the saddle and pleated saddle cloth, traces of red pigment.

ProvenanceSydney L. Moss Ltd., London, 9th February 1970.

Note: With its dynamic pose, the horse conveys a lively sense of energy. The long elegant mane and prancing position represent one of a highly desirable and rare group of trained dancing horses that were much in demand by the Imperial household and its guests. A similar figure from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, was sold in these rooms, 15th March 2017, lot 599. See also a pair of similarly posed pottery horses of smaller size sold in these rooms, 12th September 2018, lot 201.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 20 march 2019