Tang Sancai Porcelain Horse, Chinese Traditional Burial Piece
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, 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.