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Dragon-Handled Amphora 三彩双龙耳瓶

A work made of earthenware with three-color (sancai) lead glazes 三彩铅釉陶器.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of earthenware with three-color (sancai) lead glazes 三彩铅釉陶器.


Tang dynasty, (A.D. 618–907), 1st half of 8th century 唐 (公元 618-907),八世纪前半段


China 中国

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.


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Arts of Asia


Dragon-Handled Amphora 三彩双龙耳瓶


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

618 CE–907 CE


Earthenware with three-color (sancai) lead glazes 三彩铅釉陶器


H. 38.7 cm (15.2 in.) diam. 17.5 cm (6.9 in.) 高 38.7 厘米 (15.2 英寸),直径 17.5 cm (6.9 英寸)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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