A sancai glazed terracotta standing figure of a groom

Tang dynasty, circa 8th century AD, China
唐 約8世紀 中國

Height: 61.5 cm, 24.8 inches

The male figure stands on a square base. He wears long pleated trousers and pointed shoes – beneath a coat that descends to just below the knees; wide lapels are crossed over at the chest, and held together by a belt around his waist. The clothes are coloured in a combination of green, ochre and straw glaze that remains in bright glossy condition. The groom’s well observed hands are held at chest level – as if holding the reins of a horse – and are left unglazed. His head – which would originally have been painted delicately in cold pigments – is also unglazed, and finely modelled. An elaborate double knot hairdo is bound to the top of the head, and the refined Chinese facial features stare straight out at the viewer.


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