CHINESE TANG DYNASTY TERRACOTTA KNEELING FEMALE MUSICIAN - TL TESTED
Ca. 618-907 AD. A hollow molded terracotta figure features a lady kneeling in a graceful posture, wearing a long robe consisting of a cream skirt, red bodice, and a long green shawl. Her face is finely detailed in black pigment, with her lips accentuated in red. Her hair is pulled up to form a topknot, giving her a refined appearance. The lady holds a Sheng instrument in front of her with both hands. The Sheng is a traditional Chinese musical instrument that belongs to the category of reed pipes. It consists of a vertical wind chamber with numerous pipes that produce a variety of tones. This figure is a Mingqi, which is a Chinese term used to refer to objects that were buried with the dead to accompany them to the afterlife. These objects were believed to serve the same function in the afterlife as they did in the earthly realm. The Mingqi were made in large numbers during the Tang Dynasty, and they were highly valued by the people who buried them with their dead. Figures of musicians were placed in the tombs of wealthy individuals to provide them with entertainment in the afterlife. This piece has been precisely dated by means of a Thermo Luminescence analysis carried out by Ralf Kotalla, an independent German Laboratory. The samples collected date the piece to the period reflected in its style, whilst also showing no modern trace elements. The TL certificate with its full report will accompany this lot. Size: L:215mm / W:110mm ; 905g Provenance: From the private collection of a Somerset gentleman; previously in an old British collection, formed before 2000 on the UK /European art markets.