VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Figure of a female musician
MT-DW-218
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This small figure of a musician girl is full of charm and beauty. The young lady stands and holds an instrument (a lute). Her smiling eyes in a round face express serenity and concentration on playing music. The girl wears a long robe which widens at the lower part; the sleeves are narrow; a ribbon tied in a bow flowing down around her waist. A green and yellow glaze covers the figure.

History of the Object
Use of human figurines as funerary objects dates back to the Shang-Zhou period (1600 – 1000 BC). Before that time hundreds of slaves were buried alive together with a dead nobleman, supposedly to serve their master in the nether world. As human labor became more and more productive, figurines were put in the tombs instead. Figurines used as funerary objects during the Tang Dynasty were quite small -- just a dozen centimeters tall. Along with the improvement in workmanship, they became more and more realistic in style. The figurine of the musician girl from Torun’s collection supposedly belonged to a tomb and together with other figurines accompanied dead people on their posthumous journey.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Ceramic: fired clay, glaze 
Measurements
15, 5 x 10,1 x 7,6 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 7th century ~ AD 10th century 
Creation date
7th Century - 10th Century; Tang Dynasty; 618 – 907 
Function
Funeral 
Acquisition
This object derives from a large collection of the famous Polish collector, Tadeusz Wierzejski (1892 – 1974) who handed down this ceramic to the museum in 1969. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
District Museum, Torun 
Museum
District Museum, Torun 
Credit line
 

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