A pottery figure of a camel

Northern Wei – Northern Qi dynasty, 6th century AD

The camel is modelled with a small head, a broad neck, thin legs and a long tail. It is carrying a load of curved poles tied together with rope on its back, and two twisted lengths of textile, al covered by a folded cloth. There are traces of dark red pigment. The figure is supported on a rectangular base.

22.5 cm high

Oxford Authentication Thermoluminescence test no. C298h82


Formerly in the collection of Julius Eberhardt


Krahl, R., Collection Julius Eberhardt – Early Chinese Art, Hong Kong, pl. 114

An almost identical camel of the same size is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession number 28.121. For a very similar figure see Christie’s London, 7 June 1993, lot 15. Another related figure of a camel, excavated from a Northern Wei tomb dated to 524 AD, at Quyang in Hebei province, is illustrated in Kaogu1972, no.5, pl.9, fig.2 center.


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