Ancient Chinese Group of Dancers & Musicians

Ancient Chinese Group of Dancers & Musicians

Item Number: 20128


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Period: Han Dynasty 206 BCE-220CE
Dimensions: H= Range from 4 1/2" to 6 1/2"
Material: Terracotta Unglazed
Condition: Very fine, some small repair
Region: Eastern Han, China
Provenance: Acquired in the early 70's by the present owner from an old French collection.
This rare complete group of 7 figures is of unglazed terracotta with extensive remaining polychrome (grey earthernware with red and white pigments). Musicians, dancers, singers were part of a larger tableau of entertainers which participated in Han funerals as well as feasts. Sometimes figures of spectators would be included in the scene. The dancers are likely to be engaged in a dramatic rendition of the quipan dance, a dance of the time known as a "drum-stepping dance" where the performers must pivot on seven overturned bowls or drums, agilely leaping from one bowl to another. The female dancers have their hair done up in double chignons and wave their sleeves as they dance.
(ref. "Spirit of Han, Ceramics for the After-Life"), published by the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, 1991.)

Thermoluminescent Test Certificate from Oxford Authentication Ltd. included.