Antique Song Tile of Board Game Players, China (3346BKE)


H: 11”  W: 9.5”  D: 2” | FREE SHIPPING

This Song brick tile has a deep scalloped frame with an elegant pointed Indian ogee arch at the top framing two players of the Chinese board game wéiqí seated at a kang table. A fine work of art, Song pottery brick tiles were made with a light slip and polychrome colors; some slip remains and, other than the brown color on the frame, table, players, and the flowers on the back wall, little paint remains. The player on the right turns his head and looks at us as if to say “look at my brilliant move.”  With an appropriate mount, this would be a great wall decoration.


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. Used as funerary decorations to wish the deceased happiness and comfort in their afterlife, these Song Brick Tiles are another example of a mingqi ancestral item. This tile has a deep scalloped frame with an elegant pointed Indian ogee arch at the top center. The tile depicts players on a low  kang table playing the Chinese board game wéiqí.  The illusion of deep perspective is created in several ways: the lower frame is in front of two steps below the tables end; the table is at an acute angle that appears to hold the players in a receding space; one player’s legs are outside the end of the board; the area underneath and behind the players is deeply cutting; and the low reliefs on the wall behind them finish the appearance of deep space. Wéiqí which originated in China more than 2500 years ago (Japanese name is Go) is the world’s oldest board game still played and was one of the Four Scholarly Pursuits in ancient Chinese times. The object is to control a larger portion of the board than one’s opponent by moving stone pieces (plastic today) on a grid to surround and capture opponent’s pieces while strategically balancing defensive and offensive moves. Although it has simple rules, it is more complex than chess as the board is larger, there are many more decisions to consider for each move and the game takes longer to complete. The right person’s face was re-glued and a corner is chipped. Broken in places, portions are restored as is common for these brick tiles. It is otherwise in fair/good condition considering most buildings containing them were built using ancient traditional un-reinforced mud/brick construction subject to disasters like earthquakes, floods and wars. This is part of the VA Antique-Chinese-Ceramics-and-Pottery Collection.

Additional information

Weight 12 lbs
Dimensions 18 × 12 × 6 in

Song Dynasty 960-1127

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 11" W: 9. 5" D: 2"

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 27.94cm W: 24.13cm D: 5.08cm


7 lbs


Good condition with repairs, see description

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size

Place of Origin