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Antique Tang Style Sancai Stoneware
on Dwarf
of Ignorance

Circa: attributed to late 19th -early 20th Century
H. 38 in. (97cm) X W. 15 in.(38cm) X D. 8 in.(20cm)
Condition: Excellent!

Dharmapalas (Lokapalas) are warrior guardians of Buddhist temples. They were introduced to China in the mid-seventh century by a Cingalese Buddhist monk Pu Kung. Not unlike the guardian Chimera, these figures soon became popular mortuary guardians in the imperial tombs of Tang (618-906 A.D.). They are known as Heavenly Kings (Tien-wang), guardians of the four directions that protect the world from attacks of evil spirits.

This sancai (three-colored glaze) guardian is wearing a elaborate open wings bird shaped helmet, an ornate suit of armor with elephant-headed shoulder guards, protective leg armors and a pair of high boots. With his right hand raised in a clenching fist, standing above a pedestal, the Dharmapala is seen trampling on a fanged grisly little devil. Both these figures have large bulging eyes and menacing expressions. The figure is a brilliant examples of Dharmapala sculpture established since the Tang dynasty. The vibrant colors is created in two firings, a first bisque firing, then a second firing after applying leaded glaze, which melts and combines with a variety of minerals. In addition, the fine crack-lines on the surface are a result of a third firing of a transparent glaze that shrinks during the cooling process.

Sancai Dharmapala on Dwarf
Private Collection


Sancai Tang Dharmapala on Dwarf
Last BuddhaFuture Buddha

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