Vintage Signed Beijing Clay Figure Zhang Horse 13" Statue
Clay Figurines Zhang is a school of clay figurines in Northern China, which was initiated by Zhang Mingshan in the late Qing Dynasty.
Zhang was born in a poor family in Tianjin city, who learned the skill of clay figurines from his father at a very young age.
Zhang was clever, deft and full of imagination. He carefully observed people from different walks of life, so that he would make clay figurines of people he met vividly.
Clay figurines created by Zhang include heroes and villains from Chinese folk stories, novels, and operas as well as scenes from daily life.
Zhang not only inherited the legacy of traditional skills but also incorporated skills from other art forms such as painting and wood engravings.
He created more than 10,000 clay figurines during his whole life, and his unique handicrafts became famous both at home and abroad.
People liked his clay figurines very much and gave him the nickname of Clay Figurine Zhang.
The Tang Dynasty is widely known as the Golden Age of art and literature in China.
This mid 20th-century replica is an incredibly high-quality, high-drama decorative treasure.
This style of sculpture pervaded Chinese arts during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.).
Ceramic horses in particular were omnipresent in the era.
This is due to the enormous effect and influence, the horse has had in Chinese history and culture.
The type of horse depicted in this sculpture is one whose breed was perfected at the outset of the Tang Dynasty.
They were characterized by having small heads, with a muscular, compact body. The mane was often clipped as was the tail. This horse is depicted with the often-seen clipped tail.
The horse is a lovely size, measuring almost thirteen and a half inches tall.
The piece is finished in a dramatic, dark glaze that is predominated by an almost black shade of green with marbled shades of teal.
This glazed finish is made all the more dimensional by a beautiful crazing that pervades the exterior throughout.
The glaze is characterized by a very light crackling throughout, while areas like the legs, mane, face and tail show a much larger matrix of crackling.
This was intentionally added as a part of the design when the sculpture was manufactured.
The horse stands on a ceramic base that remains mostly unglazed. Some areas of the horse's hooves are also unglazed, giving the piece an exquisitely replicated "antique"-look.
Some areas of the base show the same crackling blackish-teal finish.
There is a stamped mark on the underside of the base that includes five Chinese characters in a rectangular shape. In English, the inscription translates as "Beijing Clay Figure Zhang".
There is a large hole (intentionally placed there during casting) on the underside of the horse's belly, as the sculpture is hollow.
The piece is very solid and sturdy, and remains in spectacular vintage condition.
This piece displays beautifully.
Measurements: Total height is 13 1/8", Horse is 13 ¾" from nose to tail and 4 7/8" wide, Base is 8 ½" long, 3 ¼"-4 ¼" wide and ½" tall Weight: 5 lbs., 6 oz.
Item ID: 6107
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