War horses were the pride of the Tang (AD 618-907), a dynasty of prosperity, military expansion and artistic achievement. Tang emperors were known for their openness to new ideas about art, religion, philosophy and music, unlike most Chinese dynasties which tried to cut off their empire from outside influences. Since the horse was so revered culturally, it was often the subject of artistic endeavors during this time. Among the most treasured Tang art figures were ceramic horses glazed in cobalt blue since they comprised such a small percentage of all Tang horses. Cobalt was an extremely expensive commodity from the Middle East that was even more valuable than gold. Its use meant the horse was created for someone of the highest rank.
While the price of blue has decreased over the years, the use of the color still renders this figurine the pride of any Tang nobleman. Sapphire blue fishnet combined with the blue coloration of the chrysanthemum pattern on the blanket offset by the 24K gold highlights throughout the body make for a very saturated and intense figurine.