A large sancai and blue-glazed pottery figure of a lokapala, Tang dynasty (AD 618-907)

Lot 724. A large sancai and blue-glazed pottery figure of a lokapala, Tang dynasty (AD 618-907); 29 3/8 in. (74.6 cm.) high. Estimate USD 40,000 - USD 60,000. Price realised USD 143,000. © Christie’s Image Ltd 2014

The guardian is modeled standing on top of a demon with flailing arms, with his head turned to the left, the right hand raised to hold a weapon and the left hand on the hip. He is dressed in elaborate armor covered in blue, amber, green and cream glazes, and his unglazed face is modeled with a ferocious expression. 

Provenance: Christie's New York, 27 November 1991, lot 291.

Note: This imposing figure is remarkable for its fine modeling, masterful application of glazes, and for the liberal use of expensive cobalt-blue glaze. Compare the large figure of a lokapala shown standing on a struggling bearded demon and covered with extensive areas of blue glaze included in the catalogue for The Exhibition of Chinese Pottery Figures of Dynasties, Tokyo, 1984, no. 84. See, also, the large lokapala wearing a similar cap and shown standing triumphantly on a struggling demon illustrated in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, Tokyo, 1976, vol. I, pl. 209.

The result of Oxford thermolumniscenst test no. 566t37 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

Christie's. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 18 – 19 September 2014, New York, Rockefeller Plaza