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A pair of sancai-glazed pottery guardians

A pair of sancai-glazed pottery guardians
A pair of sancai-glazed pottery guardians

0511-034

Tang dynasty
Height: 17 3/8 in, 44.2 cm

One stands on a bovine animal with his left hand on his hip and his right raised and forming a fist; the other stands on a shaped pottery pedestal, also with his left hand on his hip but with his right held in front of him. Both wear armoured tunics, that standing on the animal over a short, flowing robe and long boots, and the other over a long robe and shoes. Apart from their unglazed heads, which are well modelled with bushy brows over large eyes, moustaches and neat beards, and their tightly fitting helmets, all of which bear the remains of red and black pigments, the figures are covered in splashed amber, green and cream glazes.

Formerly in an English private collection. Purchased from Messrs Marchant, London.

For similar examples, see Baker, Appeasing the Spirits: Sui and Tang Dynasty Tomb Sculpture From The Schloss Collection, nos. 71 and 73, p. 49; Egami, Three-Colour Ware, no. 19, p. 39; and Niigata Prefectural Museum of History, Three-color Ware of the Tang Dynasty: The Henan Province Discoveries, nos. 31 and 32, p. 59, unearthed from the tomb of Qutu Jizha, Mengjin, dated 691, and now in the collection of the Henan Museum, and nos. 83 and 84, pp. 114–15, unearthed from a tomb in Luoyang and also now in the collection of the Henan Museum.

See also a related pair of unglazed figures in Chinesische Kunst, no. 322.