In ancient times, funerals were the occasion for an exorcism rite.
Thus purified, the tomb could welcome the deceased. The mingqi, terracotta statuettes, eternalize the action of this ritual
Under the Han, a single mingi-warrior was placed at the entrance of the tomb, then they were multiplied and placed in pairs, a military official and a civil official.
Later, under the Northern Qi,550-577, a group of 6 mingqi, 2 military, wuguannyong, 2 civil officials and two fabulous animals, spirits of the earth, zhenmushou, were introduced.
And from the Sui, 581-618, the four officers were identified with the four guardians of the continents, Lokapala, of Buddhism, which were considered the four guardians of the directions, fangxiang, or four heavenly guardians, tianwang.
The pair we present are standing with their feet firmly planted on a terrace. They are dressed in military clothes, wearing a cap with wings and plumes on the top of the head. They are dressed in tunics with high collars, raised epaulets, under shoulder pads with tiger heads and pleated pants over tall boots. A double rope encircles the tunic, passing under the chest and tying at the waist.
They must have been holding a large wooden spear, now disappeared.
The fierce expression served to frighten the spirits.
Their presence prevented any malignant intrusion into the tombs
They are made of terracotta with traces of white slip.
They date from the Tang Dynasty: 618 to 907;
They are of consequent size, 88cm of height and 33 of width.
A thermoluminescence test from the Oxford laboratory N° C107f14 confirming the dating will be given to the buyer.