A very similar example with the same unusual lion-mask medallions, tasseled chest strap, and similar saddle cloth, this time painted with fur markings rather than striped, excavated from the Changxu tomb dated to 560 A.D., near Taiyuan, Shaanxi province, is illustrated by E. Capon, 'Chinese Tomb Figures of the Six Dynasties Period', T.O.C.S., vol. 41, 1975-77, pl. 119(b). Compare, also, the line drawing of a similar caparisoned horse excavated in 1978 from the Northern Wei tomb of Yuan Lian, Hebei, Ci county, illustrated in Kaogu, 1997:3, p. 37, fig. 8(2).
The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. C100f65 is consistent with the dating of this lot.