A contemporary and sturdy, Chinese, cast bronze, model of a Tang dynasty war horse. The horse cast in naturalistic style. These horses were a potent symbol throughout the vigorous expansion of the Tang dynasty, 618-906.
The well modelled horse in full trappings with the head modelled slightly to the side. The model mounted on a flat bronze base. The horse's mane closely cropped, the tail cropped and tied, as was the manner of the period. The horse standing on a custom made, maple wood, Chinese table base lacquered in sealing wax red. This cast bronze horse lamp with a weight of 4kg / 8.8 lb The lamp photographed with a waisted, rectangular shaped, black silk shade suggestion.
The Chinese took great care in the selection of their horses. Their favourite were these “blood sweat horses” of Tajikistan, so named because they supposedly sweated blood (the red markings on the skin were actually caused by a skin parasite) Blood ponies were bred in the high, rolling valleys of China’s Tian Shan, translated as “Heavenly Mountains.”
They were incredibly swift, but also hardy and strong enough to make their way through heavy snow and survive through the worst weather, they were also renowned outstanding bravery. The Zhu Di Emperor imported millions during his reign, placing such a strain on the imperial treasury that a special “Tea For Horses” bureau was established to barter tea for horses, thus avoiding further payments in silver, although many were sent in great numbers as tribute to the Emperor.
They were so important and valuable that strict laws were enacted to limit the use of these horses to people of rank and to military officers. Humans seem to have domesticated the horse around 4500 BC. The saddle was invented at least as early as 800 BC, yet the first proper stirrup, invented by the Chinese, came about roughly 1,000 years later, around 200-300 AD.
Overall height (including shade) 23"/58.5 cm approx
Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications