Hobbyhorses appear in Chinese painting and decorative arts as early as the twelfth century. It is possible that this popular children’s toy, which is also sometimes cited as the precursor of the bicycle, was invented in China and spread from there to the Western world.
Marking: Zhang da jia zhen ("pillow of the great Zhang family")
[ Heeramaneck Galleries , New York, until 1960; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Douglas Dillon Legacy: Chinese Painting for the Metropolitan Museum," March 12, 2004–August 8, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Yuan Revolution: Art and Dynastic Change," August 21, 2010–January 9, 2011.
Artist: Zhang Family Workshop Date: 12th–13th centuryMedium: Stoneware painted with brown and black pigment on white slip under transparent glaze (Cizhou ware)
Accession: 1985.214.132On view in:Not on view
Artist: Date: mid-14th century Accession Number: 26.271.1a, b Date: mid-14th centuryMedium: Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under a transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
Accession: 26.271.1a, bOn view in:Gallery 204
Artist: Date: 11th–early 12th century Accession Number: 25.65 Date: 11th–early 12th centuryMedium: Stoneware with white and black slip and cut decoration under transparent glaze (Cizhou ware)
Accession: 25.65On view in:Gallery 205