Camel Three-color glaze


Camel Three-color glaze

ceramics / Tang Dynasty / China

Place of production:China

Tang dynasty, 7th-8th century




In ancient Chinese burial practices, small figures representing people, animals, or daily tools were placed in tombs. These figures were made out of wood, clay, paper, or other materials and were placed in tombs in the hope that the deceased would find peace in the afterlife.

This ceramic sculpture of a camel is one such figure. The camel is surprisingly lifelike, with an imposing build and somewhat humorous facial expression. Camels were likely valuable domestic animals, used for riding long distances or hauling heavy loads. The sculpture has been coated in yellow, green, and transparent lead glazes, with the yellow and green creating a striking contrast against the white foundation. Pottery of this type is known as “three-color glaze” or sancai pottery. This large example measures 77 cm in height.

From the 7th to 8th century, during the Tang dynasty (618-907), it was common for members of the upper classes living in the capital of Chang’an or Luoyang to line their graves with many pieces of three-color glaze pottery representing military officials, government officials, servants, women, camels, horses, and other domestic animals.

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Tang / / China / 三彩

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