Eastern Han Frosted Green-Glazed Terracotta Sculpture of a Dog - H.1008 - For Sale

Eastern Han Frosted Green-Glazed Terracotta Sculpture of a Dog - H.1008
Contact Dealer For Price
The Han Dynasty, like the Zhou before it, is divided into two distinct periods, the Western Han (206 B.C.-9 A.D.) and the Eastern Han (23 -220 A.D.) with a brief interlude. Towards the end of the Western period, a series of weak emperors ruled the throne, controlled from behind the scenes by Wang Mang and Huo Guang, both relatives of empresses. They both exerted enormous influence over the government and when the last emperor suddenly passed away, Mang became ruling advisor, seizing this opportunity to declare his own Dynasty, the Xin, or “New.” However, another popular uprising began joined by the members of the Liu clan, the family that ruled the Han Dynasty, the Xin came to a quick end and the Eastern Han was established in its place with its capital at Loyang (Chang’an, the capital of the Western Han, was completely destroyed).However, even as Chinese influence spread across Southeastern Asia into new lands, the Eastern Han Dynasty was unable to recreate the glories of the Western Period. In fact, this period can be characterized by a bitter power struggle amongst a group of five consortial clans. These families sought to control the young, weak emperors with their court influence. Yet, as the emperors became distrustful of the rising power of the clans, they relied upon their eunuchs to defend them, often eliminating entire families at a time. During the Western Han, the Emperor was viewed as the centre of the universe. However, this philosophy slowly disintegrated under the weak, vulnerable rulers of the Eastern Han, leading many scholars and officials to abandon the court. Eventually, the power of the Han would completely erode, ending with its dissolution and the beginning of the period known as the “Three Kingdoms.”This green-glazed terracotta dog is a splendid example of mingqi, literally translated as: “items for the next world.” During the Han Dynasty, the Chinese believed that the afterlife was an extension of our earthly existence. Thus high- ranking members of the social hierarchy were buried in splendid tombs replete with replicas of their daily lives rendered in all media. It is not uncommon to find ornate dinner sets with elegantly painted utensils, wine vessels, and food storage containers. Sculpted replicas of warriors and guardians provided protection while musicians and entertainers provided company. Likewise, herds of domesticated animals were interred alongside the deceased to serve as food sources in the afterlife. Although it is possible that this dog was entombed for consumption in the next world, the studded collar and harness he wears, as well as his rather emaciated appearance with protruding ribcage, suggests otherwise. More likely, this dog was a beloved companion who served his owner well both on earth and beyond. His ears stand upwards in attention, as if carefully guarding his master throughout eternity. The gorgeous green glaze that has acquired a beautiful, soft iridescent patina over the ages. Commonly referred to as “silver frost,” this iridescence is the result of wet and dry periods in a tomb whereby the clay dissolves the lead glaze and redeposits it on the surface, where it hardens. A testament of age, this patina is also admired by collectors for its charming aesthetic qualities, similar in effect to mother of pearl. Although similar works were meant to serve as food for the afterlife, the love and attention dedicated to the creation of this stunning work of art suggests that this dog is much more than food. Instead, this beloved pet stands faithfully by his master’s side throughout eternity. - (H.1008)

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

Go To Vendor Page
« Back
Related Items: