This scary little fellow is a piece of sancai ware pottery from China. Sancai ware is a type of glazing whereby three colours are used to create this delicate effect. Tang sancai wares were sometimes referred to as egg-and-spinach by dealers.
The hoofed figurine sits outside the tomb to stop dead people coming out of their graves to made trouble with the living.
An early NGV purchase using Alfred Felton’s money in 1926.
| Guardian spirit, Tang dynasty, AD 700-750, North China, earthenware, pigments |
That’s right, about 1,300 years old.