Pottery figure of ladies playing polo game in sancai tri-color glaze, Tang dynasty (AD618-907)

AnonymousAD 618-AD 907

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

Lavish funerals became popular in the Tang dynasty, with grave goods being exceptionally resplendent. Various figurines of different sizes were fashioned from clay and then covered with yellow, white, green, and brown low-temperature glazes, creating a beautiful and dazzling effect. The lady is riding on a yellow horse with a colorful saddle. The horse is robust, its four strong legs standing on a rectangular stand, as if waiting for a command. The lady turns to the side with her head slightly leaning forward. Her left hand holds a halter and the right a polo stick. The entire piece was done on a yellowish-gray biscuit to which a white slip was applied and then the tricolor colors of yellow, green, white, and ochre were added, creating a colorful and beautiful dripping effect. Robustness was a mark of feminine beauty in the Tang dynasty, and ladies were often shown wearing the nomadic garb of turndown collars, narrow sleeves, and soft boots, being dressed in light attire ready to engage in various horseback activities. The Persian game of polo was a favorite among upper classes in the Tang dynasty.


  • Title: Pottery figure of ladies playing polo game in sancai tri-color glaze, Tang dynasty (AD618-907)
  • Creator: Anonymous
  • Date Created: AD 618-AD 907
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 33.2 cm, Width:12 cm, Height:35.5 cm
  • Type: Ceramics
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Dynasty: Tang dynasty

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