Han Dynasty Jade Horse With Swallows. Approx. 2-kilo (4-pounds,) of Top Grade Mine #4, Royal Blue, Lapis Lazuli Base Included (base not original but displays beautiful) Piece may be sold without base for discount.
This jade horse should be compared to the famous horse head in the British of Albert and Victoria Museum. The latter has been determined by some experts to be of Han dynasty period (漢朝 206 BC – 220 AD). This horse’s head showed more distinct characteristic carving style of Han period with characteristic jaunty jaw typical of war horse profiles found in the museum bronze pieces of that era. In addition, the head dress decoration of war horses shown on the top is characteristic of Qin and Han era. Researchwork has been done on this war horse head. The carving, the differential weathering shown on this horse piece indicated a long period of burial, likely with a general and royal family. It is known throughout the Han period, the horse is one of the most valuable asset of a general warrior and of royal family. It has been found that Jade, bronze horse statues or porcelain statues were found in burial sites of that period. The horse is depicted riding swallows and appears to be an early representation of this style. This is am amazing piece of fine art viewed from every angle and has some of the finest lines extreme grace.
This piece shows discoloration indicative of Jade which has been discovered in ancient tombs caused by the presence of mummified bodies. These pieces have been discovered in important tombs discovered in the 19th and early 20th century (1800’s to early 1900’s during the height of tomb excavations. You can easily see the absolute fluid movement of the horses body regardless of the angle of view. This is carving indicative of a master carver and when viewed beside fakes easily displays how clunky and awkward the fakes look which are frequently seen in minor auctions and on the internet. This piece was bought at auction and was immediately recognized as far superior quality than the abundant fakes and the level of craftsmanship and movement within this sculpture stand far above the pieces which are sold as antiquities but are crudely carved with far less attention to detail.
The statue displays remarkably from every angle and can only be achievable by a master carver highly familiar with equine movement. The classic style of the Hans dynasty equine carvings is present throughout.
Cleaning - Do not clean the piece except with a soft dry cloth since the discoloration is an asset caused by centuries in total darkness sealed in the tomb of what would have been an important royal, wealthy merchant, or honored warrior’s burial chamber.
ABOUT THE LAPIS LAZULI BASE
This 2 kilo Lapis Lazuli base is included. The original base would have been ornately carved wood made to fit the exact shape of the statues base. The base itself is from Mine #4 from Afghanistan and is a deep tumbled Royal Blue stone weighing in at 4 pounds and is free of pyrite and is considered to be AAA quality. Mine #4 produced some of the most beautiful lapis lazuli ever discovered but is now exhausted (mined out) and the newest mine is not producing imperial quality lapis lazuli so the base while not original continues to claim in value each year. The base is likely from the now defunct (but arguably finest,) lapis mine in history and produced pieces worthy of kings, emperors, popes and pharaohs. While the base is not original to the carving it is attached and may be easily removed without damage since it is attached using professional museum putty. If the base continues to go up in cost we will have to raise the price of the piece shortly since it is currently priced hundreds of US dollars below replacement cost for the piece and lapis of this quality is only available in pieces 30 years old, or older. Base not original to art and may be priced separately upon request and price lowered on the statue. Contact us for pricing without base. Fine quality hand-carved wooden bases are obtainable in Asia but I would not recommend sending the original statue due to complications that can arise transporting antiquities through Asian customs and possibility of loss or damage. A base could be made using photos and a tracing of the base of statue to Asia.