Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Figure of a sleeping servant boy

  • loan



  • earthenware

    Ceramic material made of clay which is fired to a temperature of c.1000-1200⁰c. The resulting ceramic is non-vitreous and varies in colour from dark red to yellow.


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • The Barlow Collection by the University of Sussex

    The Barlow Collection

    Pottery figures of curly-haired youths, sometimes depicted with dark skin and generally bare-chested and barefoot, wrapped in a long piece of cloth, are well known from the burial wares of the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907) (see the pair of figures in the Barlow Collection, [LI1301.429.1, LI1301.429.2]). The present figure, which represents an earlier example, is remarkable for its unconventional, naturalistic pose. A very similar figure was excavated from a Northern Wei tomb at Luoyang, Henan province, which can be dated to AD 528.

    The figure shows a sleeping servant boy, seated on the ground with legs pulled close to the body, his head buried in his arms, his face completely hidden, his dense curly hair clearly visible. A belted garment is indicated in low relief. The figure is hollow, the grey pottery is coated with a white dressing and shows traces of red pigment.

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