Green and yellow straw glazed terracotta standing figure, each on a hexagonal, integral, pedestal base. Clad in a ankle-length garments with wide sleeves, one hand held to their chests. Articulated head is painted white, with traces of red and black. A few minor edge chips and scattered very minor glaze losses, heads has been glued in place. Taller figure has a partially restored collar, else intact. The other example is missing a portion of his collar.
Background: Known as one of the most influential ruling dynasties of China; for 276 years the Ming Dynasty focused on not only government and social stability but most importantly their religious practices. Described as "one of the greatest eras in human history", the Ming Dynasty was the last dynasty in China ruled by the Han Chinese. Many of the religious practices in China were seasonal, and by the Ming dynasty were at least once a month: theses rituals took on prescribed forms with carefully determined and properly performed dance, movement and sacrifices. Attendants such as this, were placed on tombs of aristocrats to provide comfort and gifts for the afterlife.
Condition: The surface with some minor glaze flaking, small nicks and wear as expected that does not detract; otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 15 1/4 inches (38.73 cm)
Provenance: Ezekiel Schloss private collection, New York, acquired in the late 1960's, thereafter in a private PA collection, acquired from The Menagerie, Phila., about 2000. Political cartoonist for the New York Times, New Republic and France-Amerique, art director and later editor of a magazine for Jewish children, World Over, Ezekiel Schloss was also considered the foremost expert on Chinese tomb sculpture, publishing the two volume "Ancient Chinese Ceramic Sculpture from the Han to the T'Ang Dynasty" in 1977 and curating an exhibition of tomb sculpture for the opening of the Temple of Heaven at Disney's Epcot Center in Orlando, Fl in 1982. Focusing exclusively on Chinese art since the 1960’s, the Schloss collection contains many pieces of historical importance. In 1984, an auction of some of the pieces collected by Schloss and his wife, Lillian, brought in about $2 million at auction at an international Auction house.