Accession Number



Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
earthenware with glaze

14 in x 5 1/16 in x 3 1/4 in (35.56 cm x 12.86 cm x 8.25 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of John Schloss

Subject matter
An earthenware straw-colored glazed mingqi  (明器), or "bright object", figure of a military official of the Sui dynasty (581-617).

The presence of a military official within the tomb would offer protection to the deceased as well as indicate their wealth and high status.  It would have been part of a larger set of figures that could have included civil officials, guardian figures, horses  and grooms, camels and riders, generally all in pairs.

Since the Qin dynasty (221 - 206 BCE), ceramic figures have been used to replace human sacrifice in burial practices as a way to provide for the deceased.  The number of ceramic mingqi items in a tomb could reach numbers of a few to several hundred objects.

Physical Description
An earthenware standing figure of a military official or warrior, wearing armor that includes a helmet, elbow-length gauntlets, a cuirass with plaques, and taces, worn over a long tunic, loose pants, and boots.  The arm is raised to hold a weapon. The top half is covered in a straw-colored glaze.  One of a pair with 1997/2.25.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
funerary sculpture

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
ceramic (material)
figures (representations)
grave goods
military officers

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 2nd floor ➜ 205 (Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery) ➜ Cabinet G ➜ Shelf 3