A large Chinese Sancai-Glazed Tomb Figure, Ming Dynasty, ca 1368-1644 CE

Object No: AT1407

$2,500 USD

Green and yellow straw glazed terracotta standing figure on a hexagonal, integral, pedestal base. Clad in a ankle-length garment with wide sleeves, right hand held to his chest. Articulated head is painted white, with traces of red-brown. Figurines of this sort were placed in the Tombs of aristocrats to provide comfort and gifts for the afterlife.

Background: Mingqi, "items for the next world" or "spirit utensils". In ancient China were items made to accompany the deceased in burial. The figures provide insights into belief systems and the daily life's of the Chinese over a thousand-year period. They reveal both how people in early China approached death and how they lived. Pottery wares specifically made for burial ceremonies and gifts flourished in the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). People viewed the afterlife as an extension of the worldly life. The burial gifts encompassed a wide variety of objects including figures, horses, houses, and graceful dancers, mystical beasts, and everyday objects. Also in this period, green-and-brown lustrous lead glazes were developed imitating more expensive bronze items and made with a green glaze probably imported from Rome.

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.  A few minor edge chips and scattered very minor glaze losses, head has been glued in place, with a 1” area of restoration on the collar, else intact.

Dimensions: Height:  18 1/2 inches (47 cm)  

Provenance:  Private PA collection, acquired from The Menagerie gallery, Philadelphia, around 2000.


Sands of Time provides a lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and provenance. Every artifact purchased from us is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, stating culture, provenance and age. Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.

Sands of Time Antiquities are proud to uphold the following Code of Conduct:

  • We undertake to make, to the best of our ability, all purchases in good faith.
  • We undertake not to purchase or sell objects until we have established, to the best of our ability, that such objects were not stolen from excavations, architectural monuments, public institutions or private property.
  • We will not dismember and sell separately parts of one complete object.
  • We undertake to the best of ability to keep objects together that were originally meant to be kept together.
  • As appropriate we will keep photographic records of objects prior to repair and restoration, to be honest and open by describing in writing the amount of repair and restoration undertaken to a prospective purchaser.
  • To the best of our ability, we guarantee authenticity and provenance of all objects offered for sale.
Sands of Time offer a very flexible layaway payment plan for all objects offered for sale on our website.  Here's how it works:
  • Deposit:  A deposit of 15% of the total price is required upon purchase.  
  • Checkout:  Order through our website and select the "layaway" option at checkout.
  • Flexibility:   You are not restricted to a set monthly payment; pay what you wish when you wish, however your balance must be paid within six months of the order date or you risk forfeiture.
  • Title:  Property title remains with Sands of Time Antiquities, Inc. until payment is made in full.
  • Shipment:  Once payment is complete, we will ship your order by the next business day.  

Should you cancel your layaway purchase, a 15% restocking-fee will apply. If you exchange or trade-up the objet purchased while it is on layaway, the restocking fee for the original purchase will not apply.  If you would like to take advantage of our layaway system or would like to discuss an alternative option that better suits your budget, please contact us via e-mail or call 1-202-342-0518. 

You may also like

Recently viewed