A sancai ewer dating to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) has a straight spout and a slender neck. A phoenix head is carved under the spout, whose crest stretches to the pot’s belly, forming a handle. Four-petal flower clusters and lotus petals are respectively carved in the middle of both sides of the belly and around the pot’s base.
The bulbous-body ewer shape was influenced by the Sasanian Empire (224-651) of Persia. Meanwhile, its sancai glaze craft and phoenix decoration are endemic of Tang culture. The ewer provides testimony to cultural exchanges between East and West more than 1,000 years ago.
Unearthed in Gangu county, Tianshui, Gansu province, the 31-centimeter-high vessel is in the permanent collection of the Gansu Provincial Museum.