About this artwork
Many scholars suggest that this distinctive Tang form may have been inspired by earlier, Hellenistic ceramic and glass vessels deriving from the Greek amphora. If so, Chinese artisans thoroughly transformed that ancient shape: They created a high-shouldered silhouette with a slender neck, which is gracefully framed by curved handles, whose dragon heads bite the cupped mouth-rim in their open jaws.
This vessel displays a fluid "three-color" glaze, named after the archetypical combination of bright green, amber, and white (transparent) lead-rich glazes colored with carefully measured recipes of metallic oxides. The green derives from copper and the amber from iron.
- Dragon-Handled Amphora
- 618 CE–907 CE
- Earthenware with three-color (sancai) lead glazes
- H. 38.7 cm (15.2 in.); diam. 17.5 cm (6.9 in.)
- Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection