East Asia, China, Tang Dynasty, ca. 618 to 907 CE. A beautiful pair of mold-formed ceramic boars depicted in a recumbent position. The animals rest upon corpulent abdomens with all four legs folded beneath, with almond eyes, broad snouts, slightly parted lips, and crested hairy manes defining their respective heads. Most of the top halves of each figure are covered with a lustrous golden yellow, while the most of the bottoms and the undersides have been left unadorned. Size of each: 4.5" L x 1.75" W (11.4 cm x 4.4 cm).
The Tang Dynasty was a thrilling time in Chinese history, when trade flourished along the Silk Routes and unified China was the richest country on earth. Chang'an (now Xi'an) was the Tang capital, and it was one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth, filled with foreigners who had travelled to China to trade; the influence of foreigners and talented native Chinese, combined with the economic prosperity brought on by trade and the new religion from India, Buddhism, created a powerful cultural milieu where poetry and other forms of art flourished.
Provenance: private east coast of Florida, USA collection, acquired by present owner in England, from an old English collection prior to 2000
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One pig has losses to area of snout, and the other has light wear to snout, arms, and base. Both figures have surface wear commensurate with age, small nicks to peripheries and bases, and fading to finer details and some areas of glazing. Light earthen deposits throughout.