No Pic M964.1.16
Grave Attendant
Ceramic; Glaze
China, c. 618-906

This ceramic figure of a court official dates from the T'ang Dynasty of China. Made of buff coloured earthenware, it is partially covered with green and cream coloured lead glazes. Unglazed areas were once painted. The figure was purchased by John and Katharine Maltwood in November, 1919 from a dealer (Franck) in London.

Similar figures were made in large numbers even prior to the T'ang Dynasty. The tomb sculptures of civil and military officials are more than a meter high, and many are mounted on high, contoured platforms, although in this example the platform is not separate from the figure. The figures are individualized. This one wears a tall hat and long robe covered with bright glazes; his clasped hands are covered by the flowing sleeves of the robe. According to Judy Chungwa Ho, these figures of court officials may also represent a later development in calendrical figures, examples of which are also included in this display.

Bibliography: Ho, "The Twelve Calendrical Animals in T'ang Tombs" (copy in document file); Kuwayama, Ancient Mortuary Traditions of China: Papers on Chinese Ceramic Funerary Sculptures; L. A. County Museum of Art, The Quest for Eternity: Chinese Ceramic Sculptures From the People's Republic of China; The Maltwood Far Eastern Collection exhibition catalog, 1982.
No Pic M964.1.15A-L
Calendrical Tomb Figurines
Ceramic; Traces of slip
China, (Late Wei, T'ang; 6th - 7th centuries C.E.)

The twelve animals, of red earthenware, represented by this set of tomb figurines were associated with the "twelve earthly branches," or "diji", which combine alternatley with the ten "heavenly stems" or "tiangan", to make sixty combinations designating a sixty-day cycle. This can be repeated indefinately. The system was also used for a sixty-year cycle. This concept dated from at least the Warring States period. The "twelve earthly branches" were also correlated to the calendrical system, by which the sky was divided into twelve sectors along the equator. The animal symbols became closely associated with astrology and popular religion. According to Judy Chungwa Ho, the date of burial was determined by one's birth year and its presiding calendrical animal. The animal figures also represented the lunar months of the Chinese calendar: Rat - 11th (Winter Solstice); Ox - 12th; Tiger - 1st (Beginning of Spring); Hare - 2nd (Spring Equinox); Dragon - 3rd; Serpent - 4th (Beginning of Summer); Horse - 5th (Summer Solstice); Sheep - 6th; Monkey - 7th (Beginning of Autumn); Cock - 8th (Autumn Equinox); Dog - 9th; Pig - 10th (Beginning of Winter). The information in the document file attaches the names of the months in a slightly different order, but this was probably superceded by more recent scholarship.

The use of such figurines in tombs indicate their significance in astrological prognostications in the afterflife. They were also symbolic of ideal space and time in their motuary context.

This set was purchased by the Maltwoods in London (Franck) on September 10, 1935.

Bibliography: Ho, "The Twelve Calendrical Animals in Tang Tombs" (copy in document file); Kuwayama, Ancient Mortuary Traditions of China: Papers on Chinese Ceramic Funerary Sculptures; L. A. County Museum of Art, The Quest for Eternity: Chinese Ceramic Sculptures From the People's Republic of China;The Maltwood Far Eastern Collection exhibition catalog, 1982.
No Pic M964.1.66
Horse Head
Ceramic; Glaze
China, (c. 618-906 ?)

The Maltwoods purchased this item from a dealer in London (Franck) in February 1921. It is said to be Li Shou pottery from the T'ang Dynasty, although this has not been confirmed. If so, it may date from about 630 A.D. It is made of buff earthenware with red and black pigment, traces of which can still be seen on the horse's neck.

Bibliography: Kuwayama, Ancient Mortuary Traditions of China: Papers on Chinese Ceramic Funerary Sculptures; L. A. County Museum of Art, The Quest for Eternity: Chinese Ceramic Sculptures From the People's Republic of China; The Maltwood Far Eastern Collection exhibition catalog, 1982.
No Pic M964.1.21A
Funerary Vase
Ceramic; Glaze
China, c. 1291-1315 ?

This funerary vase is one of a pair purchased by the Maltwoods in Paris (E. Wannieck) on March 15, 1922. Dating from the Yuan or or Song (Sung) Dynasty, it has twelve figures around the neck and an empty space for the departed. The twelve figures may be related in their symbolism to the twelve calendrical figures, examples of which are also displayed in ths case. While information in the document file suggests a Sung Dynasty date, they are almost identical to Yuan Dynasty jars from two tombs in South China, according to the text of a 1982 exhibition catalog.

Bibliography: Ho, "The Twelve Calendrical Animals in Tang Tombs" (copy in document file); Kuwayama, Ancient Mortuary Traditions of China: Papers on Chinese Ceramic Funerary Sculptures; L. A. County Museum of Art, The Quest for Eternity: Chinese Ceramic Sculptures From the People's Republic of China; The Maltwood Far Eastern Collection exhibition catalog, 1982.
No Pic M964.1.83
Balaster Knob
Marble
China, c. 1368-1644

This marble balaster knob is believed to have come from the railing which guarded the processional way from "Nankow to the tombs of the Ming Emperors." Further research could contribute additional information about its provenance.