This is large circular 'sancai' (three-colour) lead-glazed offering tray standing on three elegant curving feet. The outstanding feature is the decoration of a central stylised floral medallion surrounded by lotus leaves, this encircled by three rings of four-petal floral motifs, a plain cream colour glazed cavetto and a broad rim with two rings ornamented with quatrefoil floral motifs. A noticeable feature is the technique of incised linear outlines for the design elements which allows for a more precise application of the coloured glazes. These designs illustrate the Tang aesthetic and the influence of Sassanian decorative styles. They compare with similar designs and motifs on contemporary Tang metalwork, ceramics, silks and on the decorative elements of Buddhist art - for example on murals and paintings at the Dunhuang cave temples. The underside and the feet are entirely covered with a rich amber glaze.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2004.
'Offering tray from China' by Liu Yang, pg. 25., Look Jul 2005, Jul 2005, 25 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2005 2005, 2005, 26 (colour illus.).