Tang Sancai Porcelain Horse, Chinese Traditional Burial Piece

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This is a beautiful Tang Sancai horse. It is in very good vintage condition with no chips or cracks, it is ageing gracefully with light crazing throughout. Stands approximately 6 1/4” tall. Has a makers mark pressed into the bottom, written in Chinese.

Sancai (Chinese: 三彩; pinyin: sāncǎi; literally: 'three colours')is a versatile type of decoration on Chinese pottery using glazes or slip, predominantly in the three colours of brown (or amber), green, and a creamy off-white. It is particularly associated with the Tang Dynasty (618–907) and its tomb figures, appearing around 700. Therefore, it is commonly referred to as Chinese: 唐三彩 Tang Sancai in Chinese. Tang sancai wares were sometimes referred in China and the West as egg-and-spinach by dealers, for their use of green, yellow, and white, especially when combined with a streaked effect.

It uses lead-glazed earthenware, and although two firings were needed,[5] it was easier and therefore cheaper to make than Chinese porcelain or celadon, and suitable for making large figures, if necessary made up of several moulded sections assembled after a first firing. Vessels, mostly rather small and made for burial, were made in the technique as well as figures. Small plates with three feet, typically about 18-40 cm (7-16 inches) across, called "offering-trays", are a distinctive type, with more carefully controlled decoration than other types of pieces.

The white may come from the natural colour of the fired clay, sometimes coated with a transparent glaze, or there may be a white slip. The brown and green colours came from adding metal oxides to a lead glaze, and in fact blues and blacks are also found.


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