Brown glazed Tang dynasty figure

This is a brown glazed figure of a man, of the Tang dynasty; 618-907 AD. It is 23,5 cm tall, and made from a white earthenware. It is porous, feels like chalk, and is hollow. The figure was made in a mould, which is visible on the sides, where the mould marks were flattened. The figure is covered in a brown lead glaze.

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These burial-gifts are faked in abundance, so be aware ! Handling good pieces is essential to recognize the good from the bad.

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The first give-away is the shape. Tang potters were masters of beautiful, strong shapes. Most glazed figures are made of white, or pinkish white pottery. Once you felt a few, you know what is meant by chalky. It absorbs moist quickly, and when you touch it with your tongue, it sticks a little to it. (not for the fainthearted)

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There is a variety of undersides, but these glazed ones are hollow. The adhered dirt is strongly attached, and naturally dispersed. Most fakes are painted in with dirt.

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Here a study of the glaze. The crazing is subtle and uneven. At close look the scales lift up a little, and catch the light.

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