Celestial Mingqi Table with Offerings

W: 10.75" D: 6.5" H: 6.5"
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This remarkable sculpture came to us from a Chicago-area collector devoted to mingqi. Depicting the pleasures of daily life, these ceramic figures were offerings to ensure special treatment in the afterlife. Mingqi often take the shape of servants, dancers, musicians, concubines, and horses. This unusual mingqi depicts a celestial table set with offerings of fruit, incense, and scrolls. This curious example could have provided a means to honor ancestors. Note how the artist paid attention to the offering table's design, shaping it with rounded legs and an inset top like a traditional piece of Ming furniture. The free-flowing application of glaze could date this set as early as the Tang dynasty (618-906).

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