Sancai-Glazed Earth SpiritTang Dynasty (618-907 AD)47 1/4 x 14 x 14 in.(119.38 x 35.56 x 35.56 cm) glazed pottery
Provenance Private Collection, Washington
The Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) was a prosperous cultural period that helped shape Chinese history's foundations for future centuries. This era was marked by notable technological and cultural advances, including gunpowder and printing. Among artistic advances during this period was the perfection of the sancai glaze technique, which was a prominent attribute of sculpture during this period. Sancai (tri-colored) glazing; the three glaze-colors used were ochre or brown, green and clear. Glazed wares where much more costly to produce than other terracotta wares, and were therefore only reserved for the wealthiest patrons.
The Sancai-Glazed Earth Spirit offered here depicts a "Zhenmushou." These are mythical hybrid creatures whose bodies are a combination of dogs, lions, boars and other animals. These fierce looking beasts would be found in pairs guarding the entrance of Tang Dynasty tombs.