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Artwork Details

earthenware with glaze
14 1/8 in x 5 1/8 in x 3 3/8 in (35.88 cm x 13.02 cm x 8.57 cm)
Gift of John Schloss

On Display

Not currently on display


Subject Matter:

An earthenware straw-colored glazed mingqi  (明器), or "bright object", figure of a military official of the Sui dynasty (581-617).

The presence of a military official within the tomb would offer protection to the deceased as well as indicate their wealth and high status.  It would have been part of a larger set of figures that could have included civil officials, guardian figures, horses  and grooms, camels and riders, generally all in pairs.

Since the Qin dynasty (221 - 206 BCE), ceramic figures have been used to replace human sacrifice in burial practices as a way to provide for the deceased.  The number of ceramic mingqi items in a tomb could reach numbers of a few to several hundred objects.

Physical Description:

An earthenware standing figure of a military official or warrior, wearing armor including a helmet, elbow-length gauntlets, a cuirass with plaques, and taces, worn over a long tunic, loose pants, and boots, and an arm raised to hold a weapon.  The top half is covered in a straw-colored glaze.  One of a pair with 1997/2.26.

Usage Rights:

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