Han Dynasty grey pottery figure of an attendant, 206 BC – 221 AD
Chinese grey pottery figure of an attendant, modeled standing with his hands clasped, wearing a close-fitting hat and well fitted jacket with belt.
206 BC – 221 AD
Condition: Signs of original white paint, the present surface stable but dusty, other signs of age & burial with some dirt remaining inside. No restoration.
ref. ‘Spirit of Han’ , Aileen Lau 1998 p104 for a group of very similar figures, although they all have extended arms & holes to hold objects. This figure has been made in the same mould type as #64, and is dated to the Late Eastern Han period, 2nd – early 3rd century AD.
These terracotta figures were mould-made in large quantities when a notable person died in Han Dynasty China. Their purpose was to firstly be displayed in the funeral procession – the quantity showing the importance of the recently departed – and then being placed in the tomb where they were to serve the departed in the afterlife. They have survived in vast numbers, and are perhaps the most common of ancient Chinese artifacts from the Han through to the Ming Dynasty. After the Ming the practice declined, although there is an echo in the current funerary practice of burning models of every-day items such as money & mobile phones….