Ming Dynasty Mingqi Terracotta Horsewoman
AGE: – Ming Dynasty 1368 AD – 1644 AD
CONSTRUCTION: – Terracotta
DESCRIPTION: – Chinese Ming Dynasty Mingqi Terracotta Horsewoman – some original coloured pigment still remaining, chips to the neck, minor chips on the body.
HEIGHT: – 34cm
WIDTH: – 27cm
WEIGHT: – 2.5 kg.
#419B – PRICE: CONTACT
Chinese Ming Dynasty Mingqi Terracotta Horsewoman – this is a funerary object referred to as “Mingqi” or “spirit object”, dating to the Ming Dynasty, made specifically to accompany the soul of a deceased person into the afterlife. As in many of these similar types of Mingqi objects the head of the horsewoman is a separate piece.
The Chinese Ming Dynasty ruled from 1368 AD to 1644 AD., a total of 276 years. It followed the Yuan dynasty and was the last imperial dynasty in China to be ruled by the ethnic Han Chinese.
During the Han dynasty (202 BC – 9 AD, 25–220 AD), burying objects made from terracotta and earthenware with the departed was a popular ritual among both the rich and the not-so-rich. Before the Han dynasty human and animal sacrifice was also practiced, during the Han dynasty the practice of human sacrifice was replaced with items such as this terracotta horsewoman and a myriad of other clay and terracotta objects as well as jade and gold jewellery and utilitarian objects which were used in everyday life.
The objects placed in a burial chamber were determined by the wealth or station of the deceased. A farmer who grew wheat for example would possibly be buried with a miniature copy of a granary, or a much-loved farm animal or a person who loved his horse may have had a miniature copy of a terracotta horse placed in his tomb.
These familiar objects were offered to the deceased’s to accompany his soul on his journey into the afterlife, thus ensuring that his or her soul didn’t become a “hungry ghost or “wandering soul”.
Interesting paper on the tomb and burial practices during the Ming dynasty