A painted pottery figure of a court lady Tang Dynasty

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Lot 29
A painted pottery figure of a court lady
Tang Dynasty

£ 20,000 - 30,000
US$ 24,000 - 36,000
A painted pottery figure of a court lady
Tang Dynasty
Gracefully modelled standing with both hands held in front of the body, wearing loose colourful robes finely detailed with floral patterns and reaching the floor revealing the tips of their pointed slippers, the round face with delicate features highlighted by ruby-red and rosy-pink pigments beneath the hair dressed in a high double-shaped topknot. 32cm (12 1/2in) high.

Footnotes

  • The Property of a Gentleman 士紳藏品

    唐 陶胎彩繪侍女俑

    Provenance:
    Ngai Yuen Arts & Antique Pte. Co., 10 December 1999
    Gisèle Croës Arts D'Extreme Orient, Brussels, 2005
    Jean-Yves Ollivier Collection

    來源:
    香港古董商藝苑公司,1999年12月10日
    布魯塞爾古董商吉賽爾藝廊,2005年
    歐宗易先生珍藏

    This elegant and full-bodied lady exemplified the typically high-ranking female figures of the Tang Court, reflecting the increasingly sedentary and luxurious lifestyle of the Tang elites.

    In the Tang period, it was common to beautify female faces with extensive make-up. Rouged cheeks and lips, bold and thick eyebrows, and gaudy ornaments between the eyebrows and at the temples were in vogue at the time. Blush was often applied to the cheeks, reaching the eyelids, to resemble the complexion tone achieved by drinking wine, which was thought to imbue women with greater grace. A great number of eyebrow styles also appear to have been popular, ranging from willow-leaf to extremely broad and thick in shape. Eyebrow grooming was considered a synonym for marital love. Zhang Chang, a Tang governor, was allegedly arrested for personally pencilling in his wife's eyebrows every day, a major violation of feudal conduct and male behaviour. However, he successfully argued his way out of punishment by declaring that his wife's eyebrows were the deepest part of marital intimacy. The emperor, clearly touched by his husbandly love, finally granted him freedom. For references about Tang cosmetics, see E.Schafer, The Early History of Lead Pigments and Cosmetics in China, in Toung Pao, 1956, vol.44, pp.413-438.

    The floral designs depicted on the flowing robes may have represented the extravagant floral scrolls and medallions seen on Tang dynasty silk textiles. The flowers appearing on this lady's garment are similar to those on a fragment of a Tang dynasty silk in the British Museum (acc.no.MAS856).

    Compare with a similar painted pottery figure of a court lady, Tang dynasty, displaying a similar, upswept double topknot coiffure, illustrated by J-P. Desroches, Compagnons d'éternité, Paris, 1996, p.251.

    A similar pottery figure of a court lady, Tang dynasty, formerly in the Osaka Museum of Art, was sold at Christie's New York, 17 March 2017, lot 1134.

    The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no.C118j31, dated 1 August 2018, is consistent with the dating of this lot.

    侍女髪作高雲髻,蛾眉,鳳眼,丹唇,面敷粉彩,形態豐盈,身著草綠長袍,上點三辦花紋,腰繫黑帶,身作前傾。

    仕女袍服上所飾的花卉紋飾可能取材自當時的緞繡製品,忠實地反映當時宮廷宮女的風尚,詳見大英博物館藏一軸唐代緞繡織錦,館藏編號MAS856。對比一尊相似的唐代仕女俑,載於J-P. Descroches著,《Compagnons d'éternité》,巴黎,1996年,頁251。另一尊可資比對的例子,為大阪美術館舊藏,2017年3月17日於紐約佳士得拍賣,拍品1134。

    Oxford Authentication Ltd公司熱釋光檢測結果(2018年8月1日,編號C118j31)顯示年代與本拍品年代一致。
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