VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Musician figurines
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Five wooden figurines of musicians were unearthed from Han Tomb No.1 at Mawangdui, with two of them playing yu and the other three playing se. They form a small family band and demonstrate the life of song and dance that Xin Zhui, the tomb occupant enjoyed in her lifetime. This set of figurines is the earliest orchestra ever found in China. These figurines were made with the special technique known as “half sculpture” that emphasized carving of the head and facial features. After being carved, the figures were painted with black and vermilion colors to indicate the eyes, lips and colorful gowns. The figurines have provided material for the appreciation of sculpture and the study of customs, dressing practices, and funerary rites of people in the early Western Han period.

History of the Object
Unearthed from Han Tomb No.1 at Mawangdui in 1972.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Wood 
Measurements
Height: 32.5 to 36 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Hunan Province,China 
Geography
China 
Time period
BCE 3rd century ~ BCE 2nd century 
Creation date
BCE; 3rd Century bCE - 2nd Century BCE; 202 BCE - 168BCE 
Function
Funeral objects 
Acquisition
Unearthed from Han Tomb No.1 at Mawangdui in 1972 and collected by the Hunan Provincial Museum after that. 
Copyright
Hunan Provincial Museum Copyright 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Hunan Provincial Museum 
Museum
Hunan Provincial Museum 
Credit line
http://www.hnmuseum.com/hnmuseum/eng 
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