Earthenware figure of a camel

On display

Despite Camels not being native to China, portrayals of the two-humped camel are commonly found in Chinese tomb sculpture. The Bactrian camel was useful for carrying goods on the Silk Road between China and the West.

Objects like this were placed in tombs of the wealthy in northern China during the Yang dynasty. These objects or mingqi, meaning 'spirit object' were placed in chambers within the tombs to protect the dead from evil. The large amount of mingqi in a persons tomb represents their wealth and status within society. The tombs themselves were very important to the ancient chinese as they believed that when you died your soul split in two, one staying in the human world and the other to the spirit world.


  • Title

    Earthenware figure of a camel

  • Associated place

    China (place of creation)
  • Date

  • Material and technique

    earthenware, with brown glaze

  • Material index

  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    52 x 36 x 19.5 cm max. (height x width x depth)
  • No. of items


  • Credit line

    Presented by Mrs Kathrin Baxandall, 2012.

  • Museum location

    First floor | Gallery 28 | Asian Crossroads
  • Museum department

    Eastern Art

  • Accession no.


  • Our online collection is being continually updated. Find out more

    Know more about this object? Spotted an error? Contact us

Glossary of terms



Reference URL

q-seffron-icon q-white-icon pluse-seffron-icon pluse-white-icon minus-seffron-icon minus-white-icon close-seffron-icon close-white-icon close-black-icon prv-gry-arrow prv-arrow print-seffron-icon print-black-icon next-arrow next-gry-arrow next-white-arrow up-arrow-black up-arrow black-up-arrow black-down-arrow white-up-arrow white-down-arrow hr-list-gry-icon hr-list-white-icon vr-list-gry-icon vr-list-white-icon eye-icon zoomin-icon zoomout-icon fullview-icon contact-black-icon contact-seffron-icon basket-seffron-icon basket-black-icon share-black-icon share-seffron-icon go-arrow search-white-icon