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Bactrian Horse

8th century

Initially accompanied by a groom, this harnessed, standing horse with a well-kempt mane reflects the importance of this animal in Tang society. The fact that horses were bred systematically from the 7th century confirms the importance of their military and artistic role throughout the period, when the dynasty owed most of its victories to the cavalry and the game of polo was taken up by the Chinese aristocracy under the influence of Central Asian customs. Images of female polo players in action can be seen on the "phalerae" or discs adorning the harness of this animal. The horse became a very important motif in ceramics and sculpture, as well as painting.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Artwork Details

Title: Bactrian Horse
Geography: China
Date: 8th century

Medium: glazed ceramic

Classification: sculpture
Dimensions: 60 x 64 x 21.5 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2016.001
Contact for images: [email protected]


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