Han dynasty Guan vase with sancai effect glaze

This guan shape vase I bought at a local auction house.

I bought it assuming it was a regular Han dynasty ware, but when the research started it was hard to find a match for the glaze. The Han dynasty glazes are in general monochrome, mostly the lead green glaze, and the slightly rarer brown glaze. Some reference books say that a sancai type glaze only appears in the Tang dynasty.

When I spoke to my Amsterdam dealer, he pointed me to the book; Spirit Of Han, which shows some examples of this glaze.

The pot is 14 cm in diameter, and 11 cm in height. It is from the eastern Han dynasty, 25-220 AD. It is heavy potted and stands on three spurs which it was fired on. These spurs allowed the bottom to be glazed, and stuck the spurs to the pot. These pots were stacked in the kiln on top of each other, the rim shows three marks from the next piece. The glaze is crazed and shows matt patches and encrustations from burial.

The inside is unglazed, but these wares were made asgrave gifts, and not for use. The lead glazes are of course poisonous.

The dark Brown streaks show some iridescence. The blue color in the picture is not there.

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