Region: North China Collection: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art Accession: 1979.113 Period: Tang period (618-906), 8th century Materials: Earthenware with multicolored lead glazes and traces of pigment (sancai ware) Dimensions:
The abundant use of glaze colored with cobalt blue in a dress worn by a seated figure of a court lady holding cymbals helps to distinguish this piece as a luxurious example of Tang sancai. Sancai is a Chinese term that refers to wares coated with three colors of glazes. Cobalt, which was imported to China from Iran, was expensive and used sparingly. Both the high-waisted dress worn by the figure and her youthful charm typifies sculptures of women produced during the late 7th century. The two-tone decoration of her high-waisted dress was also fashionable during this period. Both the amber and the blue parts of the gown are decorated with various-sized spots of unglazed clay created by the resist process. There are traces of pigment on her face and hair.