A RARE SANCAI-GLAZED INCENSE BURNER, TANG DYNASTY | 唐 三彩力士六足香爐
TANG SANCAI - THE SZE YUAN TANG COLLECTION
A RARE SANCAI-GLAZED INCENSE BURNER
the cylindrical vessel with short, straight sides and wide everted rim, supported on six feet shaped as guardian figures, all resting on an integral dish-shaped base, decorated with a mottled green, amber and straw glaze, leaving the interior and the dish base unglazed
Width 13.5 cm, 5⅓ in.
The incense burner has restoration to three crescent-shaped areas of the rim (circa 9, 6 and 3cm., wide), and restoration around the feet and upper body of each of the supporting figures.
For more information on and additional images for this lot, please contact Alice.Garner @sothebys.com.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
While the form of this censer closely follows metal prototypes, its feet are in the form of guardian figures, known in Buddhist iconography as Yakshas. These guardians are benign semi-divine beings, half gods half demons, and are recognizable by their stocky pot-bellied appearance. In the Tang dynasty, they were generally depicted with large bulging eyes and wearing only a loin cloth, which gave them an exotic appearance.
Sancai censers with feet in the form of guardians are unusual. Two related pieces, one excavated from a tomb in Luoyang, are illustrated in Zhongguo gu ciyao daxi. Zhongguo Gongyi yao/Series of China’s Ancient Porcelain Kiln Sites. Gongyi Kiln of China, Beijing, 2011, p. 428, centre; another is illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu/ Ceramic Art of the World, vol. 11, Tokyo, 1976, pl. 222.