loader image

Terracotta figure of a male polo player, Chine, Tang Dynasty, 618-906 A.D.

Conservation:  Good condition
Material:  Polychrome terracotta
Dimensions:  29 x 34 cm
Provenance:  Acquired at F. Gallery, Spain, Madrid, 2022
Documents:  Attached thermoluminescence test (TL)


On request
Ref gf006 Categories , Tags , ,

A round sculpture made of terracotta and decorated with reddish and cream engobes. This is an excellent example of a Tang polo player, considering that the usual depictions were of women rather than men. The polo player wears a Turkic-Mongol headdress while the horse is depicted leaping.

Polo is believed to have originated in early modern times in Central Asia. It was part of the entertainment of the Sassanid court and was also practised on the Indian frontiers. In 630 AD, the Tang began their great westward expansion by turning Chang’an (Xian) on the Silk Road into a cosmopolitan capital. The introduction of polo to China dates from this time. Under the Tang dynasty, polo was a sport played mainly by the aristocracy and especially by women, despite its roughness.

Scroll to Top