Lot 1266. A sancai-glazed pottery figure of an earth spirit, Tang dynasty (AD 618-907); 20½ in. (52.1 cm.) high. Estimate USD 3,000 - USD 4,000. Price realised USD 6,875. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013
The mythical beast, with leonine head centered by two horns, hoofed feet, and three flame-like projections rising from the back, is shown seated on its haunches as it opens its mouth in a warning roar, and is splashed in green, ochre and cream glazes.
Property from the Robert B. Mayer Family Collection, Chicago, Illinois
Provenance: J. T. Tai & Co., New York, 1965.
Note: Compare related figures of this type and size illustrated by Liu Liang-yu in Early Wares: Prehistoric to Tenth Century, A Survey of Chinese Ceramics I, Taiwan, 1991, pp. 246-47. Another, shown as one of a pair, in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Silk Roads-China Ships, 1983, p. 47.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 19 - 20 September 2013