Antique Song Tile of a Mythical Animal, China (4019LKE)


H: 6.25”  W: 10.125”  D: 2.5” | FREE SHIPPING

This Song dynasty pottery brick tile depicts a pixiu, a mythical creature known as the “fortune beast” who is s a powerful feng shui symbol of wealth thought to bring money and good fortune and protect people from losing wealth. This fantastic creature with green colored wings and tail has the head of a dragon and the body of a lion. Set within a decorative curving border with an Indian inspired ogee arch at its apex it quickly moves across the framed space with an intensely protective and angry expression to protect its master and his wealth and possessions. There is a rare handprint of the artisan who created it on the rear.


During the Song Dynasty earthenware unglazed brick tiles made using a mould were produced to decorate inner chamber walls of tombs and government and public buildings. When used as funerary decorations to wish the deceased comfort in the afterlife, they are examples of mingqi and part of ancestral honor. Subjects of brick tiles include holiday celebrations and mythology and often included mythical animals, plants, vegetation and other auspicious objects. These brick tiles were filled with wet clay, fired, covered with a white slip, painted in polychrome and affixed on walls, doors and elsewhere in tombs and government and public buildings. This vibrant tile is framed by a decorative curved wide border with a pointed ogee arch (an Indian artistic tradition) at the apex.  The winged pixiu inside is mythical animal with the ability to ward off evil, search for gold, silver and other wealth, who protects its master and wealth from disappearing and even controls the feng shui of the house. This tile The might be a funerary tile or mingqi as its protective theme and guarding wealth are important as the family is tasked to protect and attend to the soul of the deceased. Most ancient buildings containing these pieces used traditional un-reinforced mud/brick construction and were subject to disasters. Few survived intact and often required repair and restoration. With areas with white slip and green paint on the surface it is in good to fair condition for its age despite some surface degrading, a restoration on the lower-left corner and the lion’s hind legs and snout, chips and paint losses and earth adherences.There is a rare handprint which functions as a seal on the rear. With the right mount it would be a wonderful wall-art decoration. This is part of the VA Antique-Chinese-Ceramics-and-Pottery Collection.

Additional information

Weight 8 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 12 × 8 in
Place of Origin



Ancient, Song Dynasty


Song Dynasty 960-1127

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 6.25” W: 10.125” W: 2.5”


4 lb 10 oz


Good condition with repairs, see description

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size

Materials and Technique