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A RARE PAINTED RED POTTERY FIGURE OF A POLO PLAYER
PROPERTY OF THE HOWARD GILMAN FOUNDATION*
A RARE PAINTED RED POTTERY FIGURE OF A POLO PLAYER

TANG DYNASTY (618-907)

Details
A RARE PAINTED RED POTTERY FIGURE OF A POLO PLAYER
Tang dynasty (618-907)
The rider wearing an unusual hat with upturned, tricornered brim and a tight-sleeved tunic tied around the waist with a thick cloth roll, shown with body bent at the waist to one side and head lowered while seated astride a horse depicted in full gallop, its head spiritedly turned, mouth open and all four legs fully extended, traces of red pigment and white slip
14¾in. (37.5cm.) long, wood stand
Provenance
Christie's, New York, 27 November 1991, lot 298.

Lot Essay

The spirited modelling of this figure is very close to the four polo players in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, illustrated in the Handbook, p. 208, top left, except for the unusual hat worn by this rider.

Compare a male player and a female player illustrated by Qin Yanyu, Zhongguo gudai taosu yishu, Shanghai, 1955, pl. 37. They also are naturalistic and lively in their modelling. A similar female polo player is in the Tenri Museum in Japan, illustrated by Hasobe and Sato, Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 11, Tokyo, 1976, pl. 183. Another in the Cleveland Museum of Art wears a tall hat; refer to Jennifer Neils, ed., The World of Ceramics, Cleveland, 1982, no. 96.

The result of Oxford thermoluminescence test no. 556t13 is consistent with the dating of this lot.
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