Boeuf attelé

Entre 420 et 581
Terre cuite, Moulage, Engobe, Couleurs - Pigments
Statuette, Mingqi

M.C. 9873

Statuettes of oxen harnessed to carts appear to have emerged in the 2nd century. The wooden specimen found in 1972 in Hantampo, in Wuwei district (Gansu) is one of the oldest examples. Ceramic versions of this type of mingqi appear to have been more common in the central Yangtze basin, however. Their use would spread gradually throughout northern China (Li, 1996, p. 123, no. 168). Marie-Thérèse Bobot cites several specimens from the 5th and 6th centuries in Shanxi and Henan.
Besides the exceptionally vigorous modelling, two details make the Cernuschi Museum piece unique. A single flat base supports both ox and cart. The removable wheels are decorated with a large open lotus flower.  

Reference(s) : Gilles Béguin, Art de l’Asie au Musée Cernuschi, Paris Musées / Findakly, 2000, p.104.
Marie-Thérèse Bobot, Chine connue et inconnue : Dix années d'acquisitions au musée Cernuschi, Paris, Paris-Musées, 1992, p.131-132.