Bronze Miniature Reclining Horse Sculptures | Uma Okimono
The pair of Japanese miniature reclining bronze horses (“Taisho” mare and foal) shown are vintage bronzes from the Late Edo Period. The mare is finished in Classic Bronze, and the foal is in Chocolate Bronze, which are the most desirable bronze finishes among collectors. Condition: Excellent. Dimensions: 2-3/4”L x 1-1/2”w x 2-0”h (larger-mare) — (smaller-foal) 2-2/4”L x 1-1/8”w x 1-1/2”h
Horse sculptures are made in appreciation of this noble four-legged animal called Uma in Japanese. The horse has inhabited Japan for about one thousand years, and has in the past been indispensable, contributing much in bringing Japan’s economy back on track. This is one reason Okimono of horses are found in almost every Japanese household. One more reason why horse statues are found in homes is that the horse is the seventh (7th) sign in the Japanese Zodiac (see our Discovery section for zodiac personality description associated with the horse).
Since the introduction of horses on the Japanese islands several different breeds have evolved, which are based on needs of local people and their native climate. To our knowledge there is a total of eight (8) horse breeds inhabiting Japan –
Kiso (Nagano & Gifu),
Misaki (Miyazaki Prefecture),
Yonaguni (Yonaguni Island),
Taisho (Tsu Island),
and despite the fact that all of them are ponies, they played an important role in the Japanese history. Unfortunately, all of them are very rare and many of the breeds are already extinct.