Tang Sculpture of an Ox with Removable Horns - H.765 - For Sale

Tang Sculpture of an Ox with Removable Horns - H.765
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During the Tang Dynasty, sculptural effigies of domesticated animals were often interred in the tombs of nobility and elite members of the social hierarchy. Created in all media, these sculptures accompanied the spirit of the deceased into the afterlife. While similar examples exist, most were found harnessed to wagons and carts and were meant to function as beasts of burden. However, this sculpture was discovered buried as part of a herd, contained inside a sculpted miniature pen with other domesticated animals, suggesting that this ox served as nourishment. Besides it function, this sculpture is also remarkable for its massive size and exquisite state of preservation. Removable horns can be attached, completing the astounding illusion of the animal. Such delicate attachments rarely survive the ravages of time and the stresses of excavation. Some of the original red pigment that once decorated the animal is also visible on its nose. During the Tang Dynasty, the Chinese believed that the afterlife was a continuation of our earthly existence. Thus, logically, as we require food to nourish our bodies on earth, so too will we require food to nourish our souls in the afterlife. Created to serve as food for the afterlife, this work is more than a mere sculpture; it is a gorgeous memorial to the religious and philosophical beliefs of the Tang Dynasty. This bovine effigy has served its eternal purpose well. - (H.765)

Ancient Asian
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Seller Details :
Barakat Gallery
405 North Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills
Contact Details :
Email : barakat@barakatgallery.com
Phone : 310.859.8408

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