Funerary figures of full-figured ladies, with elaborately ‘fallen’ chignons and dressed in loose flowing robes, demonstrated the ideals of beauty during the high Tang period. The dress and hairstyles seen on these figures are similar to those of ladies depicted in murals on the walls of tomb no. 187, Astana, Turfan, particularly ‘Lady Under a Tree’ now at the MOA Museum of Art, Atami, Japan and dated to the first half of the 8th
century. Others, now preserved in the Xinjiang Museum, are illustrated in The Ancient Art in Xinjiang, China
, Urumqi, 1994, p. 87, pls. 213 and 215. For examples of painted pottery court ladies see a smaller figure included in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection
, Vol. Three (I), London, 2006, pl. 1215. A similar figure but with a high chignon, excavated in 1955 from tomb 131 at Gaolou Village, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, dated to 748, was included in the exhibition The Quest for Eternity, Los Angeles County Museum
, 1987, cat. no. 83.
The dating of this lot is consistent with the result of a thermoluminescence test, Oxford Authentication Ltd., sample no. C298c57.