Camel

Camel

Early 700s
Country
China
figure
earthenware with polychrome lead glaze
Collector's Choice 1983
1983.243

Camel, early 700s. Tang Dynasty (618–907), China.
Glazed earthenware; 2 1/4 x 7 3/4  x 18 in. 
Denver Art Museum: Funds from 1983 Collector’s Choice, 1983.243

Dimensions
height: 25.25 in, 64.135 cm; width: 7 3/4 in, 19.685 cm; length: 18 in, 45.72 cm
Department
Asian
Collection
Asian

Camel
Early 700s, Tang dynasty (618–907)
China
Earthenware
Funds from 1983 Collectors’ Choice
1983.243

Significant numbers of painted ceramic camels have been excavated in northern China, suggesting they were highly regarded in the Tang Empire. Indeed, these animals were the principle means of transportation for people and goods along the Silk Road from Central Asia. Since the heartland of the Tang Empire did not have camels, the beasts themselves were exotic to the Chinese. Their presence in tomb sculptures indicates that the deceased wished to continue to use them in the afterlife.

Known Provenance
At least 1972-1981, Pan-Asian Collection, Christian Humann [d. 1981]; 1981-1983, Robert Ellsworth [b. 1925, d.2014], purchased from Christian Humann's heirs; 1983, DAM collection, purchased from R.H. Ellsworth, Ltd., New York.