Monday, August 10, 2009

Taking Cues From The Orient


From pagoda style lamp shades, to black lacquered consoles, classic traditional design is replete with inspirations from Asia.

In the coming weeks, I will share with you objects from around my own home that I love which have a rich history with the Far East. I will also share a brief outline of my research on the historical inspiration of these objects.

The T'ang Horse


(photos of my collection of T'ang horses)

Even before I learned the history of T'ang horses (pronounced tung), there was something about them that always attracted me. Horses, in my opinion, are a perfect subject for sculptural art. Many of the T'ang statues were created using the Sancai (pronounced sahn-tsigh) technique which is a type of ceramic using three intermingled colors for decoration. Today, artist still use the horse as their subject and you can find a multitude of equine artwork.

618 AD - The T'ang dynasty used the horse as a symbol of power. The sculptures reflected the importance of the equestrian armies in maintaining the dynasty's long reign. They also represented the pride of the ruling emperors. In fact, many of the oldest horse sculptures were discovered in the tombs of the elite. They were buried along with other precious metals,jewels and believed to ensure the dead a comfortable and wealthy afterlife.

Mary Beth Karoll, a contributing writer for Dan's Hampton.com advises that If you make a major purchase of a pricy T'ang Horse, look for one that comes with a certificate of authenticity or an Oxford certificate.

Below are some authentic pieces located in various museums.


Chinese sancai-glazed pottery horses and riders from the T'ang Dynasty (618-907 AD) at the Luoyang museum.

(618-907 AD) sancai-glazed pottery horse statue at the Nanjing Museum

Sancai horse, T'ang Dynasty, 618–907 A.D at the Palace Museum

T'ang horse at the Shanghai Museum by Andrew Lih






2 comments:

xinex said...

Lovely figures, Julio. I like the orange and green Tang horse the most.I can't wait to see your treasures! Thanks for stopping by...Christine

Bill said...

Hi, Julio. Interesting post ... beautiful images and very educational. Thanks for including the pronunciations of key words. That was very thoughtful. Looking forward to your next post.
Bill @ Affordable Accoutrements