An important pair of sancai glazed earthenware lokapalas
Tang dynasty, circa 8th century, China
唐代 約8世紀 中國
Height: 80.5 cm and 81.5 cm, 31.7 inches and 32.1 inches
With the addition of large areas of blue glaze.
Each figure stands facing the other in the opposing posture – one, with his right arm raised, stands on a bull which in turn rests on a rocky base painted in blue but unglazed. The other has his right hand held at chest height and stands upon a reclining demon – in straw glaze splashed with other colours – which in turn rests on a similar rocky base to his pair. Both figures are dressed in elaborate armour with flowing undergarments the details of which, such as the tassels and pendants are of particularly high quality – and the over all glaze brilliant. The heads are unglazed but decorated in cold pigments with traces of gilding. The first figure is open mouthed, his eyes bulging and head covered by a helmet and surmounted by a phoenix, the other figure has his mouth closed but wild eyes and slightly different helmet surmounted by a bird.