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Auction

Northern Wei Dynasty Terracotta Horses, TL Tested, '386 AD-535 AD'

About

A massive pottery pair of horses standing on all fours and striding with its right hoof forward. Extended snout ends in parted lips showing teeth beneath in a braying attitude. Low relief bridle on face and well defined eyes. Raised mane down back of the neck A fantastic example of the Wei dynasty horses. Large, exquisite walking Ferghana horses with great attention paid to anatomical detail were the choice of the wealthy. The horse was second only in importance to the dragon. It was supposed to possess magical powers which the early Chinese were eager to explore. It would be the horse that would carry the deceased to the next life and it would be the amount of horses that an individual owned that would guarantee his ongoing status in the hereafter. Thermoluminescence certificate from Madrid Labs included. In southern China, people turned to Daoism, and mingqi, as well as above-ground sculptures, became ever more infused with animal iconography and energized with dynamic lines. The north of China was eventually united by nomadic Tuoba invaders who founded the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534) and established a measure of stability. Their rule fostered both preservation, seen in Han tomb styles and funerary practices, as well as innovation, seen in new types of mingqi such as human-faced guardian animals called zhenmushou, human guardians, and increasing numbers of pack animals and military figures. The Northern Wei or the Northern Wei Empire (/we?/), also known as the Tuoba Wei (???), Later Wei (??), or Yuan Wei (??), was a dynasty founded by the Tuoba (Tabgach) clan of the Xianbei, which ruled northern China from 386-534 AD (de jure until 535), during the period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties. Described as "part of an era of political turbulence and intense social and cultural change", the Northern Wei Dynasty is particularly noted for unifying northern China in 439: this was also a period of introduced foreign ideas, such as Buddhism, which became firmly established. During the Taihe period (477-499) of Emperor Xiaowen, court advisers instituted sweeping reforms and introduced changes that eventually led to the dynasty moving its capital from Datong to Luoyang, in 494. The Tuoba renamed themselves the Han people surname Yuan (?) as a part of systematic Sinicization. Towards the end of the dynasty there was significant internal dissension resulting in a split into Eastern Wei and Western Wei. Many antiques and art works, both Taoist art and Buddhist art, from this period have survived. It was the time of the construction of the Yungang Grottoes near Datong during the mid-late 5th century, and towards the latter part of the dynasty, the Longmen Caves outside the later capital city of Luoyang, in which more than 30,000 Buddhist images from the time of this dynasty have been found.

Details

  • Dimensions
    Height: 23.42 in. (59.49 cm)Width: 11.81 in. (30 cm)Depth: 20.47 in. (52 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Han (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    300-600 AD
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Miami, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1726217808752

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: Moncada, Spain
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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