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Tang Sancai is a special kind of painted earthenware. It is made in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A. D.), hence the name "Tang." "Sancai" in Chinese literally means “tri-colored.” This is because the color yellow, green, and white were typically used in Tang Dynasty to make this earthenware, although some pieces were also in two or four colors.


Tang Sancai represented a peak in the development of Chinese ceramics and became well known around the world.


The tri-color glazing techniques used to make Tang Sancai drew on Chinese painting, sculpturing, and clay-strip forming and incising skills. The combination of these techniques helped to produce rugged and powerful lines for Tang Sancai.


Glazes of different colors were then applied and they dripped naturally when the earthenware were put into kiln for firing. As a result, colors would mingle naturally with each other to form smooth tones.


Unearthed tri-colored Tang Sancai are usually images of horses, camels, female figurines, and dragon-head mugs. Among these, the elegant tri-colored horses have won the greatest admiration.

Imitations of these original wares are now produced in Luoyang, Xi’an, and other cities of China. With their close resemblance to the authentic works, these reproduced Tang Sancai make excellent souvenirs and gifts.




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