Until 1st Jan, 2026

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Lot 206 - FAS0624

Buy now for €3,900.00

Lot details

Scientific Analysis Report: A thermoluminescence analysis report issued by Oxford Authentication on 14 February 2024, based on sample number C124b42, sets the firing date of two samples taken between 1400 and 2200 years ago. A copy of the report, issued by Oxford Authentication, accompanies this lot.

China, 206 BC to 220 AD. Powerfully modeled with a separate head raised and looking ahead with large eyes, alert ears, and a broad nose. The stout body standing squarely on four slender legs with the tail curled above the strong haunches, encased in an elaborate harness.

Provenance: Hungarian private collection.
Condition: Very good condition overall, commensurate with age. Old wear, tiny losses, minor chips, encrustations, and structural cracks. Drilled holes from sample-taking. Repairs and touchups as generally expected from Han dynasty excavations.

Weight: 7.7 kg
Dimensions: Height 46.8 cm, Length 43 cm

In the late Shang dynasty (16th–11th century BCE), dogs were buried in royal tombs as sacrificial animals. Thousand years later, by the Han dynasty, actual dogs had long since been replaced by clay replicas. Placed at the entrance to underground tombs, they served to guard the deceased and the tomb furnishings. Many different breeds and regional preferences can be recognized among the Han-period tomb figurines. Like other dogs found in Sichuan, this one wears a snug harness. Everything about this creature speaks to its vitality and strength, from the alert stance, the erect ears, and outward gaze, to the neatly curled tail.

Literature comparison:
Compare a closely related harnessed mastiff, Sichuan province, Eastern Han period, in the collection of the Portland Art Museum, accession number 2004.114.5. Compare a closely related tomb figure of a dog, Eastern Han period, in the collection of the Miho Museum, Japan.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Related
Auction: Sotheby’s New York, 29 March 2022, lot 666
Price: USD 8,190 or approx. EUR 8,200 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: A pottery figure of a dog, Han dynasty
Expert remark: Compare the closely related form and similar modelling, curled tail, and alert stance. Note the smaller size (32.6 cm).


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