Han Dynasty Green-Glazed Terracotta Horse

SKU DL.990

Extra Fine


206 BC to 220 AD


49.21″ (125.0cm) high x 45.28″ (115.0cm) wide


Glazed Terracotta



Gallery Location

S Korea


Red earthenware green-glazed model of a horse, head held high and modeled with flat cheeks, ears pricked and alert, eyes wide and bulging, nostrils flaring, open mouth with thick lips curled well back as if loudly neighing and revealing the teeth. The mane is closely cropped and descends to the base of the neck. The main body is finely proportioned and modeled; semi-circular lines moulded at the shoulders and rump are used to enhance the feeling of inactivity, while the graceful legs have their musculature similarly defined with vertical lines, giving them definition above the hooves. The tail is short and separately moulded. Traces of the original green glaze are still visible on the surface of the horse. The pale green glaze is a distinctive feature of Han era pottery. Over the centuries glazed surfaces have acquired an iridescent patina. Commonly referred to as “silver frost,” this iridescence is the result of wet and dry phases within the tomb, whereby the clay progressively dissolves the lead glaze and re-deposits it on the surface, where by hardening creates this pearly layer. The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China (206 BC–220 AD). Divided into two distinct periods, the Western Han (c. 206 BC-9 AD) and the Eastern Han (23-220 AD) and spanning over a period of four centuries, the Han period is considered a golden age in Chinese history. Trade flourished and the wealth and ideas that accompanied the opening of new trade routes led to the prosperous blooming of the arts. This stunning piece was excavated from ‘Sichuan Province’

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