This is said to be T’ang but in fact it is a replica made about 200 years ago to embellish the houses of merchants and aristocrats.
It is made of terra cotta. The style of this horse is not unlike those of the late Han period as the design of the saddle is identical so it may also be a mixture of late Han and early T’ang.
The Han dynasty was from 206 BC to 220 AD. The T’ang dynasty was much later from 618 to 907 AD, when Li Yuan seized power after the assassination of Sui Yang-tu. The 2nd T’ang Emperor had a wife or concubine who clawed her way to the top of the power ladder and stayed there taking over the Emperorship when her husband died being regent for her son. Quite a woman!
The armies at this time consisted of both peasants and aristocrats. In the north of the country they had to fight nomads and so the cavalry was most important. The Aristocrats rode the horses, nothing new there, and it was recorded that they had around 700,000 horses. Not many when you consider 4 million died in the First World War. This horse has a lovely gaze of yellow and green and certainly masquerades well as a member of the T’ang cavalry.
13” (33 cm) to withers x 1′ (30 cm) across
Provenance purchased by Kenneth Anns 1947. Inherited by C. Anns. Approx value £300