Anthony Short
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A rare terracotta statue of a dancing horse in full ceremonial decoration. The animal stands foursquare on a rectangular base with its head pointing forwards. it was made during the Northern Qi Dynasty. 550-577AD. It is decorated with a stiff board under a pleated saddle, leatherwork on the rump from which hollow bronze medallions have been suspended and a chest strap which supports hollow conch shells. The mane has been carefully arranged and the head and the neck are decorated with a silk tie and leatherwork. The front part of the mane has been gathered together and formed into a pointed "flame"between the ears. About 10 horses were trained to dance in the royal court and when they did, the noise of the bronzes and shells knocking together would compliment the music. Oxford TL tested, sample No C111j34. Two samples were taken; one from the right side of the jaw and one from the right buttock. Both were from the period.