Magnificent Set of 3 Elegant Court Attendants – Ming Dynasty, China 1368-1644 AD


SKU: CH-109-111 Categories: , ,


A magnificent set of 3 graceful terracotta figurines from the Ming Dynasty ‘1368-1644’ AD. These elegant courtiers are standing over a high hexagonal plinth and wears fine robes in various blue tones. The unglazed areas have pigmented colors in red, black and white. Each is carrying essential offerings for the royal family. The head is detachable as often seen on the larger figures from this period. Meticulously detailed facial expressions have been hand-painted.

Average Height: 48.5 cm (19 in)
Condition: Mint, finely preserved glaze and pigment, undamaged and no repairs.
Provenance: Ex. Danish Collection.

This set is guaranteed authentic and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from Muzeion Gallery and TL Test from Laboratory Kotalla in Germany (The Oldest Thermoluminescence Testing Laboratory in the World).

Burial figurines of graceful dancers, mystical beasts, and everyday objects reveal both how people in early China approached death and how they lived. Since people viewed the afterlife as an extension of worldly life, these figurines, called mingqi, sometimes referred as “spirit utensils” or “vessels of ghosts” disclose details of routine existence and provide insights into belief systems over a thousand-year period.

The Ming dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China – then known as the Empire of the Great Ming – for 276 years (1368–1644 AD). Founded by Chu Yuan-chang, the rebel leader that was successful in removing the mongols from the throne. Chinese control was re-asserted in China and eastern Asia. Literature became more important, schools were created, and the justice system was reformed. The Ming dynasty is described by some as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history,” was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese.

The practice of burying ceramic objects with the deceased went into decline from the 10th to the 14th Century AD. There was a revival in placing miniature representations of glazed terracotta objects such a furniture, food offerings, horses, miniature statues of male and female attendants and many other objects into the burial chamber alongside the departed.

Almost any object that was used in daily life during this period was re-created in miniature form, especially for burial purposes; although other objects which served a utilitarian function were also used in burial chambers.

Miniature representations of food, animal, houses, cooking vessels and many other objects that were enjoyed by the deceased when living were made as offerings to accompany them into the other world. It is thought that familiar objects would ease their way and give them comfort when entering into the after life.

Additional information

Dimensions 19 in


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