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Tricolor Phoenix-Headed Ewer with Figural Pattern
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2022.01.25 14:52:24

Measurements: 32.5 cm high, 40cm in belly diameter
Period: High Tang (650--755)
Provenance: Unearthed at Tawai village, eastern suburb of Luoyang, 1965

With a slender body, an oval mouth, and a molded phoenix head on the upper part of the neck, an oval belly which rests on the high trumpet-shaped foot, the arched handle finds itself attached on one side of the body. The vessel is covered over all with ocher, green, blue, and white glazes. Each color shows the depth from thick to light. The patterns on the two sides of the body are different, one is phoenix, the other is hunting, which is encircled by flowers and whiteness that fill in the blanks, appearing novel and gorgeous.

During the heyday of the Tang dynasty, the society was open, with frequent foreign exchanges, and many shapes related to Western civilization appeared in ceramics. The tricolor phoenix-head ewer is an artistic creation of the Tang artisans made through combining the bird-headed pot from the Persian Sassanian Empire and traditional Chinese ceramic art, which carries both practical and ornamental purposes.

With unique shapes, bright colors, auspicious decorations, and also, as the product of the exchange between China and the West, it lives up to its reputation as a masterpiece of the Sancai wares of Tang dynasty.