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A PAINTED POTTERY FIGURE OF A COURT LADY
A PAINTED POTTERY FIGURE OF A COURT LADY

TANG DYNASTY (AD 618-907)

Details
A PAINTED POTTERY FIGURE OF A COURT LADY
TANG DYNASTY (AD 618-907)
The lady is modeled standing gracefully with both hands held in front of her body, and her full face with small, delicate features upturned beneath the hair dressed in a high double topknot. There are traces of rosy-pink pigment on the cheeks and pinkish-ochre pigment on the robe which is belted low on the hips.
17 ¾ in. (44.9 cm.) high, wood stand, Japanese wood box with Mayuyama seal
Provenance
Mayuyama, Tokyo, prior to 1976.
Literature
Mayuyama, Seventy Years, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1976, p. 68, no. 181.
Sui to no bijutsu (The Art of the Sui and Tang Dynasties), Osaka Museum of Art, 1976, p. 23, no. 1-188.

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Lot Essay

This charming figure belongs to the category of Tang female figures made during the 8th century when the fashion at court was for women of a fuller figure, and therefore robes of a style looser than those seen during the 7th century, when the fashion was for a more slender figure and tight-fitting costume. A group of four painted red pottery figures of court ladies illustrated by J. Baker in Seeking Immortality: Chinese Tomb Sculpture from the Schloss Collection, The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 1996, p. 34, fig. 17, are representative of this 8th century aesthetic. All of these figures have a similar full face with small features and an elaborate hair-do, and three wear loose robes with full sleeves in which their hands are hidden. One of the figures, however, has the robe belted low on the hips with a sash in a manner similar to that seen on the present figure. Also, unlike the other three figures, her hands are exposed and held in front in a manner similar to the present figure, and on one hand a bird is perched. This figure also has a similar, upswept double topknot coiffure, so named and illustrated in a line drawing by E. Schloss in Ancient Chinese Ceramic Sculpture: From Han Through T'ang, Stamford, 1977, p. 153, fig. 65. Another line drawing on p. 145, fig. 24, shows a figure similar to the present figure. See, also, the similar figure illustrated by J.-P. Desroches, Compagnons d'éternité, Musée Guimet, 1996, p. 251, no. MA 4677.

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