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. In earlier centuries the horse was used for transportation, agricultural work, food (sakuraniku), equestrian events/sports, and for military purposes during the Edo period (1600-1867).
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection