Selection of Terracotta Ming Dynasty Heads

£ 165.00

A selection of moulded terracotta heads, dating to the Chinese Ming Dynasty. The heads would have been originally part of larger statuettes of court attendants, musicians or soldiers, placed in tombs and graves to assist and entertain the deceased in the afterlife. Each head has been finely cold-painted after firing in white and orange pigments, with facial features emphasized by delicate black colour strokes.

N.B. Price is for an individual figurine.

Date: 1368-1644
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Fine, with original pigment still intact. Each head has been mounted on a custom-made stand.
£ 165.00
Choice of Item A B
Clear selection
Product Code: CS-44
Category: Tags: , ,

The Ming Dynasty played host to some of China’s most renowned artistic achievements. The culture’s artistic explosion can be in part explained by the Ming dynasty’s economic success. Terracotta heads, such as these fine examples, originally belonged to larger statuettes of soldiers, musicians or court attendants. Figures of this type are called mingqi in Chinese, meaning ‘spirit utensils’ or ‘vessels for ghosts’, and were an important status symbol in ancient China, so the affluent and important would be accompanied in their travels through the afterlife with numerous depictions of people, items and animals. Mingqi statuettes would have been lined outside the tomb before the coffin was taken inside, and then placed and arranged inside the tomb. The size and number of the figures in a grave depended on the rank of the deceased.

The use of mingqi statuettes reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty, discover more here: Terracotta Tomb Attendants.

Dimensions cm
Choice of Item

A, B




Southeast Asia

You may also like…