Period: Late Western Han dynasty (48 BC-8 AD)
Measurements: L. 29.5 cm, H. 23.8 cm
Provenance: The Han tomb at Sijiangou village, Zhicheng township, Jiyuan, Henan province, 1969
Molded separately, glazed and fired at low temperature. The archery figurine, in a posture of shooting an arrow with two arms stretching out, straddling on the saddle, the upper body was glazed red, lower limbs unglazed. The horse was covered by red glaze, with head raised, tail in the air, ears upright, mouth opened for neighing.
The man figurine wears a robe and a pair of pants, suggesting the achievements of the reform “Wearing the clothes of the barbarians(Hu people), learn the archery from them” conducted in the Zhao state of the Warring States period, the clothing reform was launched by the King Wuling of Zhao state in the Warring States period, which was characterized by discarding the conventional loose garments and wide belts, introducing the short tunic with narrow sleeves, and the clothing style evolved into that of suit of armour in the later generations. The ancient texts recorded that archery on horse originated from the ethnic minorities in the north of China, and was introduced into the Central Plains roughly in the Spring and Autumn to the Warring States period, and gained popularity in the ensuing Qin and Han dynasties, even evolved into an important military strategy, additionally, it also became one of the recreations in the upper class.
Realistically molded, the present object not only exhibits the super craftsmanship on molding technique of the Han dynasty clay-molding artisans, but also serves as a physical specimen for the study on the ceramic molding art and the life of leisure and hunting the elites during West Han dynasty.