Ancient Chinese Song Dynasty Terracotta Tile with Trio of Figures


An Ancient Chinese, Song Dynasty, terracotta tile. The relief features three figures and a vertical black band painted on the left-hand side. The figures represent a father, mother, and child. The father figure wears a red garment and holds an offering in his hands. His hair appears to be styled in a small high bun, and his face features prominent eyebrows painted with black pigment. To the right, the mother figure, in a yellow garment, is hunched over, carrying a child on her back. Her arms are crossed in front of her chest with her hands clasped together. The child has a large high bun and is wearing a blue/grey garment. The whole piece is square in form and the background surface is plain grey. On the reverse is a textured grid pattern which would have allowed the tile to attach to a wall more securely.

Date: AD 960-1279
Period: Song Dynasty
Provenance: Ex West Country collection UK. Acquired 1970's - 1990's, Hong Kong collection.
Condition: Good condition. Some of the pigment and detail has worn away consistent with age. One of the feet belonging to the figure in red has been truncated and there is a large chip to the child’s right-hand side. The top grey layer on the surface is chipped and scratched in some areas. The surface is rough and has earthly encrustations over its entirety.

In stock

The Song Dynasty ruled China during one of its most brilliant and sophisticated cultural epochs, marking a high point for innovation in economy, science, engineering, and warfare. The Dynasty saw the introduction of the first banknotes and the first recorded chemical formula for gunpowder, as well as large-scale experimental architecture and a new intellectual interest in the arts. During this period, Buddhism waned in popularity as new philosophical schools of thought were introduced. The development of Neo-Confucianism and the re-emergence of Daoism reverberated through society, guiding it to ideals of balance and order.

Weight 2700 g
Dimensions L 23.3 x W 23.1 x H 3.1 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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