A Song Miniature Model of a Horse

Song Dynasty 960-1279.

A Song Dynasty Model of Horse, Perhaps Cizhou, North China,  Song Dynasty 960 – 1279. This miniature stoneware or hard clay model of a horse has been moulded from two halves, this shows clearly on the luting-line running down the back of the horse where the halves were put together. Miniatures, such as the present example are, perhaps surprisingly not rare. Miniature ceramic objects were made in China from the Warring States period or before. Their function is debated but it seems likely, to me at least, there was not one specific function. Some were toys, others might have been purely decorated or even appear on a family altar, it is clear they were also used for burial. Some were specifically made for burial.

See Below For More Photographs and References.


Small chips to the side of the base.
Length 7.5 cm (3 inches)
A Private Collection of Chinese Ceramic Miniature, label to base '152'.
Stock number
For more information about Chinese miniatures see : Small China, Early Chinese Miniatures : a rediscovery of a cultural phenomenon (Koos de Jong, Arnoldsche Art Publishers. ISBN 978-3-89790-631-0. 2021).



Robert McPherson Antiques - Sold Archive

Mingqi miniature stoneware model of a horse and rider, Late Western Han or Eastern Han c.1st century B.C. to 2nd century A.D. Simply made from a two piece press-mould with the mould-line clearly showing. The dense grey stoneware is covered with a dark yellow-amber glaze.

Condition Restored ; the horses man has been reconstructed. The head of the rider and the horses mouth have been re-stuck and restored.
Size Height : 6.5 cm (2 1/2 inches)
Provenance: Tai Sing Fine Antiques, Hong Kong 14th of October 2000. From the collection of early Chinese ceramics belonging to Professor Gordon Michael Besser FRCP FMedSci (born 22 January 1936) is a British medical doctor. He is emeritus Professor of Medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, and an expert of endocrinology and diabetes.
Stock number 24545