Dynasty Collections features 18th and 19th Century Chinese Porcelains

Tang Dynasty Sancai Pottery Earth Spirits Ch'i-t'ou

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre AD 1000: Item # 965586

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Exceptional pair of Chinese Earth Spirits known as ch'i-t'ou of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) assured safe passage to the afterlife, these fantastical creatures were crafted with ferocious characteristics, one with a leonine face, knobbed horn and fan-shaped ears, the body is decorated in pale-green, orange with white and black pigment. The broad chest and belly is orange-red with swirls rising from the legs, with cloven hoofs firmly planted on a plinth, with its curled tail; the other figure has a humanoid face and extended foliate ears, with paled green flames on the body, bird-like clawed feet. Ferocious figures such as these were placed in pairs in the tombs of members of the Tang dynasty elite. The results of Oxford Authentication Ltd. Thermoluminescence test no. C207e48 is consistent with the dating of this pair. Height: 18 ½” (47 cm)