Large horses of this type have been found in a number of tombs within the Han empire. Among the most famous are those from the graves of the well-known Han dynasty minister Zhou Bo and his son excavated at Yangjiawan, Xianyang, Shaanxi province; see Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Quest for Eternity, Thames and Hudson, 1987, Catalogue, nos.11-15. The well-sculpted head, flaring nostrils and upwardly-curling top lip are characteristic of these Han horses, typified by the large bronze horse excavated at Hejiashan, Jinyang, Sichuan province and recorded in Wenwu, 1991, no.3, p.9, pl.iii.
The result of the Oxford Authentication Ltd thermoluminiscence test, no. 766u25, is consistent with the dating of this lot.