A SANCAI-GLAZED FIGURE OF A COURT LADY TANG DYNASTY | 唐 三彩仕女立像
TANG SANCAI - THE SZE YUAN TANG COLLECTION
A SANCAI-GLAZED FIGURE OF A COURT LADY
the elegant standing figure dressed in a high-waisted amber-glazed dress with green bodice, with hands clasped at the waist concealed by an straw-glazed sash
Height 41 cm, 16⅛ in.
Under UV examination it is possible to see that the head has been restored and re-attached to the neck, that there is over-painting encircling the lower edge of the dress and some further over-painting (circa 5x3cm) to the lower right side (as illustrated) of the dress and to the tip of the right (actual) foot.
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."
Ceramic sculptures of beautiful slender women, fashionably dressed with long high-waisted skirts, and a scarf covering theirs hands, were made to be housed in special niches in the tombs of the Tang nobility and high officials. While made in large numbers, extant examples of standing ladies vary greatly in quality, the present example being among the finest and largest of its type. The detailed rendering of the figure’s pleated skirt, the well-articulated triple-cloud slippers and the controlled application of green and amber glazes are comparable to some of the finest figures of Tang court ladies.
These earthenware figures offer a glimpse into Tang fashion and society. The cosmopolitan and international character of the dynasty had a significant impact on women, who were able to enjoy an unprecedented level of freedom and independence. Foreign fashion was favoured by noble women, as evidenced by these figures: the high waist of their skirts, long and tight sleeves, and low V-neck décolleté blouses, were inspired by Persian fashion.
A figure of similar size and coiffure was found in Guanlin, Luoyang, and is illustrated in Luoyang Tang sancai/Tang Dynasty Tri-Colour Pottery of Luoyang, Beijing, 1980, pl. 2; and another is published in Ezekiel Schloss, Ming-Ch’i. Clay Figures Reflecting Life in Ancient China, New York, 1975, pl. 98, together with a related figure with a different hair style, pl. 97.