Tang Fat Ladies :
Tang figures of this type are often, rather unfalteringly, referred to as `Fat Ladies`. These voluptuously shaped pottery figures reflect changing tastes in female beauty during the early 8th century. As well as being based on a fuller figured woman, these Tang pottery sculptures show a new ease, being almost informal in there depiction but with a strong sense of presence. Perhaps reflecting a new confidence in women during the high point of the Tang dynasty.
Mingqi Pottery :
This piece is an example of Mingqi, objects made specifically for burial, to be taken with you to the afterlife. The `Terracotta Army` is the most famous example of this type of burial object. Mingqi objects represented people, houses, farms, granaries, livestock and indeed anything important from this world that would give you comfort and status in the next. The `Terracotta Army` were made life size and on a vast scale, reflecting the importance of the first emperor of China but most Mingqi objects were small models, far smaller than the object or indeed person they were meant to represent. Mingqi ceramics were not the only goods to appear in early Chinese tombs, objects that functioned were also buried, some of these had clearly been worn or even damaged, presumably these objects were prized possessions belonging to the deceased that might have been used on a daily basis.
T.L. Test :
A thermoluminescence (TL) test from Oxford Authentication Ltd supports the dating of this object. See `Links` for more details of the methods used for a thermoluminescence (TL) test and the details of Oxford Authentication Ltd.