This green-glazed altar model would have been part of a group of tomb furnishings made for burials of the wealthy. It features a variety of food offerings and utensils glazed in green, amber and cream. The practice of using lead-glazed burial wares had already started during the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). This glaze technology further developed during the Tang dynasty (618-906) into ‘sancai’ (‘three-colour’) glaze. It included colours such as cream, amber, brown and blue. This glaze tradition continued into the Ming period. The custom of making ‘mingqi’ or burial wares was an ancient one. It is thought these wares were necessary for the deceased in the next world. Elaborate groups of burial wares were also a display of wealth and social status.