Tang Polo player horseman figure, 8th century AD
Rare pottery figure of a polo player, the horse modelled full stride with no legs touching the ground, the finely detailed horse with a male rider on a saddle, his hands pulling on reins to turn the horse, the whole with remnants of red, black and white pigments. Tang dynasty, 8th century AD
restorations to legs and figure
27cm nose-to-tail, 32cm high on stand
ref. Beurdeley p85 for a glazed example, 684-779AD; the horsemen are the result of the Chinese contact with the Persian world, with gifts of dancers, musicians, and horsemen being sent from Iran to the Tang court in the early 8th century. Along with this came the exotic Iranian game of Polo; this soon became a court pastime.