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Berwald Oriental Art

Sancai and Blue Glazed Candlestick
Tang Dynasty, first half of the 8th century
Gongxian, Henan Province
Glazed Earthenware
Height: 12 ¼ in, 32 cm

This example is particularly noteworthy for its large size and for the careful and exact application of the lead based sancai glazes which are notoriously viscous. The artisan has enhanced the strong architectural form, based on a metal prototype, by decorating the various elements in different and contrasting sancai and blue glazes.

Egyptians, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans all produced some form of metal candlestick of simple columnar shape. The form would have been transmitted to China via the Silk Route during the Han dynasty when candlesticks and candelabra are first found. Renewed interest in exotic forms spurred production of ceramic examples such as the present piece. However, this form typically appears decorated in a simple white glaze. Sancai glazed candlesticks are rare and there seem to be no other published examples decorated with blue

Related Examples:
Sancai Glazed without blue:
Three Colour Ware of the Tang Dynasty, The Henan Province Discoveries, exh. Tokyo, 2004, no 81; Tang Ceramics Made in Henan: the Tri-coloured and Blue-White, Zhengzhou Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Beijing, 2006, p. 187, no. 223.

all text, images Berwald Oriental Art


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