The result of Oxford thermoluminescence test no. 466j30 is consistent with the dating of this lot.
No other sancai-glazed figures of Bodhisattva, with such fine modelling, and of this date and size, appear to have been published in either private or public collections. However, a sancai-glazed seated figure of Buddha is illustrated by Rene-Yvon Lefevre d'Argence, Chinese, Korean and Japanese Sculpture from the Avery Brundage Collection, Kondasha, Tokyo, 1974, fig. 170. In the catalogue description, the author writes, "The figure belongs to a large series, many of which have reportedly come from Shansi, and is very close to a Buddha now in the Musée Guimet. The Avery Brundage Collection example seems to continue the style of a pottery Buddha, dated 1494, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art."
However, the similar massive size of that Buddha, over 59 in. (150 cm.) high, and the similarities in sculptural quality and details suggest that these three figures may have originally formed a triad, the present pair of Bodhisattva seated to either side of the Avery Brundage Buddha, in the way that all three figures were displayed together when the Bodhisattvas were exhibited on loan to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Compare the identical lotus pedestal where each pointed lotus petal contains a seated Buddha amid leafy foliage and scrolling tendrils; the similarity of the robes, particularly in the way the sleeves drape and the way the robe folds at the stomach with the slanted band tied with an identical knot; the faces with rounded cheeks and the modelling of the long slender fingers and fingernails.
Although the catalogue dates the Brundage Buddha to the Ming Dynasty (16th-17th Century), a more precise dating as a result of the Oxford thermoluminescence test shows the Bodhisattvas to be early 15th century. The Buddha is also illustrated by He Li, Chinese Ceramics: A New Comprehensive Survey, London, 1996, pl. 493, where the author dates the figure to the 15th-16th century.
Compare also to several other massive sancai-glazed Ming figures, a Buddha dated 1617 in the Hong Kong Museum of Art, illustrated by T. Nguyet and S. Markbreiter, 'Hong Kong in Transition, Opening of the New Hong Kong Museum of Art', Arts of Asia, November-December 1991, p. 84; and a group of figures from the collection of Paul Huou Ming Tse, one of which is a Buddha, now in the Avery Brundage Collection, published by Paul Huou Ming Tse, Ta Kou Tchai, Preuves des Antiquites de Chine, Beijing, 1930.