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Tang Tri-colored Glazed pottery

Tang San Cai, also called Tri-colored glazed pottery, is a kind of handmade glazed ware of exquisite craftsmanship created in the Northern and Southern Dynasty (386-589) about 1,400 years ago.

It is called "tri-coloured" because yellow, green and white were normally used, although some pieces are also in two or four colours. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the production of Tang San Cai reached its peak, which is part of the reason the pottery got the name of Tang San Cai.

Tang San Cai absorbed the advantages of Chinese painting, sculpture and stone carving. It features fleshy figures, regular and exquisite technics, compact carving traces, and smooth lines, indicating the high-level of the craft reached in the Tang Dynasty.

The Tang tri-colored glazed pottery is a low-melting glazed pottery. Tangsan cai is fired for twice times by using kaolin as the base. The base is of pure white and fine texture. First firing the plain base, then re-firing after base being glazed, so it is also called glazing firing. Adding copper, iron, cobalt and manganese to the glaze materials as color agent, through firing, gorgeous color, such as green, yellow, blue and purple, are formed by using the color generation mechanism of metallic oxide contained in minerals.

Unearthed tri-coloured Tangs are usually horses, camels, female figurines, dragon-head mugs, figurines of musicians and acrobats, and pillows.  

The Chinese used tang san cai predominantly for three distinct purposes. They were used as funerary pieces buried in the tombs of perhaps a wealthy merchant, they were used in sacrificial worship and, finally, they were used in every day life.

Tri-colored glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty is a shining pearl among ancient Chinese pottery. Now, Tang SanCai is a world famous artistic gem of China!

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