This figure expresses a powerful sense of movement that can be compared to the famous bronze flying horse excavated in 1969 from Wuwei, Gansu province. See Zhongguo Meishu Quanji; Diaosu Bian; Qin Han Diaosu (The Great Treasury of Chinese Fine Arts; Sculpture; Qin and Han Sculpture), Beijing, 1985, vol. 2, pp. 152-155, no. 148.
In its sharp, knife-cut features, the present lot relates to the Han grey pottery horses found in Sichuan province, such as the example sold in these rooms, 16 September 1998, lot 295. Both figures have incised decoration on the body: the former with zigzags on the legs and the latter with a spiral on the rump. With their large frames, slender legs, large hoofs and short bellies, these horses appear to be a Central Asian or Xinjiang breed.
The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. C199d57 is consistent with the dating of this lot.