EFE19 A painted pottery figure of a dwarf


Tang Dynasty (618-907)

The figure is standing on a circular base. He wears a hu costume (of non-Han people) with a folded collar and carries a sack on his back.
There are traces of red and black details of hair and coat.
13 cm high

Provenance: Old Dutch private collection

A very similar figure is illustrated by Wang Qingzheng, A Dictionary of Chinese Ceramics, Oriental Art Publications, Singapore, 2002, p. 81

Dwarf figures were popular from the Han to the Tang dynasty.
As they were thought to be incapable of rigorous work, they would often turn their physical limitations to humourous advantage by becoming street performers. Rich families would offer them a living in exchange for entertainment and companionship.

See  He Li, Chinese Ceramics, The New Standard Guide,from The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, London, no.174

Ceramics > Early Ceramics