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Funerary Statuette: Tomb Guardian

Location

NORTH CENTRAL CHINA

Era

Tang dynasty (618-907 C.E.)

Title

Funerary Statuette: Tomb Guardian

Materials

Earthenware, three-colour glaze (sancai)

Dimensions

33.1 x 14.8 x 10.3 cm

Credits

Purchase, inv. 1918.Ed.6

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures; Decorative Arts and Design

As early as the Eastern Zhou dynasty, during the seventh century B.C.E, horned mythological beasts (zhenmushou) made of painted wood were placed in tombs in the southern Chinese state of Chu to ward off evil. The same imagery was adapted and transformed into lead-glazed earthenware in the Tang dynasty, their now semi-realistic rendering betraying a Central Asian prototype.

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