Large sancai horses of this rare type are distinguished by their realistically modeled manes, the foliate-based 'metal' trappings and simulated fur saddle blankets. A similar example in the Matsuoka Museum of Art is illustrated in Selected Masterpieces of Oriental Ceramics, 1984, pl. 105, and another was exhibited by Gisle Cros, Maastricht, 8 March - 16 March 1997, Catalogue, pp. 88-91. Compare, also, the horse with very similar trappings, including the fire pearl, but with head raised and a green-glazed fur saddle cloth illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, Tokyo, 1976, vol. 11, pl. 193.
The other comparable examples have variations primarily in the use of all 'metal' plaques pendent from the trappings and the more usual green rather than sancai-glazed fur saddle cloth. See the horse illustrated in Bulletin of the National Museum of History, Taipei, 1988, p. 48, no. 5 and one illustrated by J. Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1980, pl. 46.
The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. C298k61 is consistent with the dating of this lot.