This horse exhibits all the characteristics particular to Northern Wei figures of horses, including the boldness of form expressed in the sweeping neck and elegant narrow face. Compare two very similar examples from the Aurelius Parenti Collection of Chinese Ceramic Sculpture, sold in these rooms, 3 June, 1988, lot 186, and lot 187 (sold again in these rooms, from the Schloss Collection, 21 March, 2000, lot 259).
Other similar examples include a horse with a more elaborate molded saddle blanket, illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 8, Tokyo, 1955, no. 139, and a larger horse included in the Ausstellung Chinesischer Kunst, Berlin, 1929, p. 125, no. 278.
The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. C105f28 is consistent with the dating of this lot.