Measurements: standing lady: 24 cm – height, bearded lady: 19 cm – height, courtier in a blue coat: 27.5 cm – height, courtier in a yellow coat: 27.5 cm


Description:  A rare group of Tang Dynasty hollow terracotta statues depicting court entertainers. The group includes a seated bearded lady, with her legs crossed, her hands joined, possibly applauding her fellow entertainers. The bearded lady is an extremely rare figure in compositions of entertainers such as this one. The other lady, a dancer, is reaching out her arm, while her dress shows an elegant twist. The two men accompanying these ladies are dancing as well, their knees slightly bent and arms moving up an down to the melody. All members of the group, except one male dancer, are dressed in ochre-coloured coats and dresses decorated with red flowers. The remaining male dancer wears a bright blue coat instead of ochre.


Well-preserved groups such as this one are a rare find and reflect the golden age of court performances during Tang Dynasty. The performances were eclectic and on a grand-scale, sometimes with tens of thousands of performers. With its keen interest in other cultures, the Tang court received musicians and performing arts groups from many regions. Such a wide range of performers included: acrobats, ceremonial dancers, clowns, singers, musicians, martial arts masters...


Reference: an exemplary group - Christie’s sale 1211, lot 190.


Period: Tang Dynasty, 618 -906 AD


Condition: Very fine. Traces of colours on the surface vivid. The group comes with a Thermoluminescence Report from Oxford Authentication, confirming the date.


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