VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Figure of Palace Lady
MT-DW-55
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This is a figure of a lady who stands with her hands on her belly. She looks very serious as if she was waiting for something. Her face is round and flat with big slanted eyes. Her hair is divided in two parts and is formed in a fashionable hairstyle. She wears an upper garment reaching her knees, under which she has a blouse tied with a belt, and her legs are covered with a long skirt. A sea-green 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 with dead noblemen, supposedly to serve their master in the nether world. As human labor become more and more productive, human figurines were put in the tombs. 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 Court Lady from Torun’s collection supposedly belonged to a tomb and together with others figurines accompanied dead people on their posthumous journey.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Ceramic: fired clay, glaze 
Measurements
26,3 x 7 x 5,8 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 1966. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
District Museum, Torun 
Museum
District Museum, Torun 
Credit line
 

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