Tomb figure of a woman on horseback

Pottery with “three-color” glaze.
Clay: fine, whitish buff, fired medium hard.
Glaze: transparent, with fine crackle, over areas of brown and green on white surface; woman’s head unglazed and painted, also other small areas.

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Historical period(s)
Tang dynasty, ca. 700-750
Earthenware with lead-silicate glazes and painted details
H x W x D: 43.1 x 14.8 x 37.6 cm (16 15/16 x 5 13/16 x 14 13/16 in)
China, Henan province, Possibly Luoyang
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Sculpture

Tomb figure

China, earthenware, funerary, horse, Tang dynasty (618 - 907), woman

To 1948
Jun Tsei Tai (1911-1992), Shanghai, to February 1948 [1]

From 1948 to 1952
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, purchased from Jun Tsei Tai in February 1948 [2]

From 1952
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on June 25, 1952 [3]


[1] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. 46068: "Pottery statuette of a horse and a lady rider, wearing a high top knot and an open bossom [sic], short jacket and riding breeches in green and yellow glaze. Horse of mixed breed of Percheron and Arabian in creamy glaze and yellow and green mane. Central Asia T'ang. Ht: 16 ins. Lt: 14 ½," copy in object file. According to an annotation on the stockcard, the object was acquired in China from J. T. Tai in February 1948.

Jun Tsei Tai (more commonly known in the West as J. T. Tai), known also as Dai Fubao in Shanghai, was a successful art dealer who was initially based in Shanghai China. Tai became one of C. T. Loo's most prolific suppliers in the 1940s. In 1949, however, J. T. Tai fled with his family to Hong Kong, when Communist leaders came into power. In 1950, he immigrated to New York City, where he established J. T. Tai & Company, a successful company that specialized in the sale of Chinese arts.

According to some sources, the object belonged to a group of sixteen equestrian figures reportedly excavated from a tomb at Luoyang, Henan province prior to 1943, see Christie's, New York, Fine Chinese Ceramics, Jades and Works of Art, auction cat. (New York: June 4, 1987), under lot195 and Annette L. Juliano, Bronze, Clay and Stone: Chinese Art in the C. C. Wang Family Collection (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), under cat. no. 54.

[2] See Loo's stockcard cited above. The object was transferred to the Freer Gallery in April 1948. See C. T. Loo's Approval Memorandum, dated April 14, 1948, copy in object file. In the memorandum, Loo stated that the object was excavated in Sian Fu [Xi'an], Shaanxi province.

[3] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated June 25, 1952.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Jun Tsei Tai 1911-1992
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948


Pottery with "three-color" glaze.
Clay: fine, whitish buff, fired medium hard.
Glaze: transparent, with fine crackle, over areas of brown and green on white surface; woman's head unglazed and painted, also other small areas.

Published References
  • Chang Wanli. Tang san cai you tao [Three-Colour Glaze Pottery of the T'ang Dynasty]. 3 vols., Hong Kong. vol. 1: pl. 31.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 64.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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