Height: 12.750 cm
Length: 20.500 cm
On loan from a private collection OA 26:20
Room 33b: Chinese jade
Jade figure of a horse
Late Ming or Qing dynasty, 17th century AD
This impressive horse belongs to a small group of carved jade animals, mainly horses and buffaloes, carved on a much larger scale than usual, and all in the same range of green opaque stones. There is no direct evidence to help us define precisely when and for what purpose these large creatures were carved.
The slender and elegantly smooth carving shows the horse lying down, its hind legs tucked under its body. The mane and tail are carefully worked to represent the hair, with the other features - eyes, jaw, limbs, muscles and sinews - shown in fine grooves.
J. Rawson, Chinese jade: from the Neolith (London, The British Museum Press, 1995, reprinted 2002)