17th May, 2024 10:00

Asian Art

Lot 8


A Chinese sancai-glazed pottery horse

Tang dynasty (618-907), naturalistically modelled standing on a rectangular base, covered with a cream glaze highlighted in amber, green and blue,
59.5cm high

Provenance: Purchased by Col. and Mrs A L Gracie, who lived in Cadogan Square in London, from John Sparks Ltd. by repute, and by family descent to the present owner. The horse has always been known as 'Arkle' in the family, after the famous 20th-century racehorse.

This unique example, featuring sancai splashes on cream-glazed horse body, can only be found at Sotheby's, London, 4 November 1969, lot 28. It fetched a remarkable £16,000, marking the highest hammer price achieved during that auction, and was acquired by Sparks. It is now in the collection of Asia Society Museum in New York, Estate of Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, 1992.1.

The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. C100c39 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

唐 三彩马

Take advantage of our Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.

Sold for £90,000

Condition Report

Restoration to both ears, all legs and lower section of body.
Small chips and losses of enamel in various locations.
Original mane and tail missing.
Fixed to a rectangular base, unable to check condition underneath.
Two drilled holes from the thermoluminescence test.



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Auction: Asian Art, 17th May, 2024


London Viewing | Auction

Viewing will be held at our London Gallery, Sworders Fine Art, 15 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ as follows:

Saturday 11 May, 10am - 1pm 

Sunday 12 May, 10am - 1pm

Monday 13 May, 10am - 4pm 

Tuesday 14 May, 10am - 4pm

Wednesday 15 May, 10am - 4pm

Thursday 16 May, 10am - 4pm 

All lots are, however, extensively illustrated and carry detailed condition reports - see 'Condition report' at the foot of each lot description. 

The auction will take place at our Stansted Auction Rooms, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet CM24 8GE.


View all lots in this sale

Please note that this item is not suitable for a pre-sale automated shipping estimate due to the items weight/size. 

The below table shows indicative shipping costs for larger items being delivered within the UK mainland. Please note that all the below costs are purely for indicative purposes and are to be used as a guideline only. If you purchase multiple large items, we will combine deliveries to reduce the shipping costs. 

Should you be successful in buying this item, a specific shipping estimate will need to be requested after the sale using the link in your invoice email; this also includes all requests for international delivery.

If you would like further information about shipping and collection please see here.


Buying a pre-loved, antique, or vintage item not only provides you with unique style and value for money but it also helps to reduce landfill, and the annual emissions of an antique or vintage piece can be as little as one sixteenth of those of its new equivalent!

Sworders is proud to be supporting the work of Antiques are Green - the movement that was founded in 2009 to promote “a greener future created from the past”. Read their fascinating carbon footprint study of a Georgian chest of drawers versus a modern equivalent here


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