Antique Ceramic Pillow, China (3847JLS) $105


H: 4″  W:  9.5″  D: 4.5 ” | FREE SHIPPING!

This charming fanciful vintage underglaze blue and white porcelain pillow has added hand-painted green and red florals, fruits and vases in relief within framed geometric borders of blue cobalt oxide pigment. The top curves in the center to cradle the neck for comfort and flares outward. The front and back sides have charming painted relief images of vases on the front and fruit on the back. The top and bottom have seals applied to Chinese antiques indicating they were approved for export. There is a slight chip on the front, otherwise it is in excellent condition.



Chinese have historically used various materials for making pillows including stone, jade or wood, but long ago ceramic porcelain and earthenware became the primarily used material. Initially for sleep, ceramic ones were also used as opium pillows. Ceramic pillows were made in many forms and shapes but primarily to cradle the neck. In the winter they could be filled with hot water for warmth. They were often decorated with popular motifs reflecting the fashion of that time, including  animal images, scenes with architectural objects, rivers, mountains, figural images, florals and other designs. This 19th century pillow has raised images of vases, fruits and florals which were hand painted using underglaze Blue and White Porcelain designs with added bright enamel colors, as here, in red, green or other colors. Of course, this is Chinese so many of the images were auspicious wishes. The Chinese word for vase (ping) is a homophone for the Chinese word for peace or peaceful (ping-an) and a vase or the image of one is a wish for peace and for one using an opium pillow, hope for a restful sleep and a relaxing experience. This piece has a top and bottom wax seal indicating it is antique export ware. This piece is part of the VA Antique-Ceramics-and-Pottery collection.


Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty



Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

4 .75” x 9.5” x 4.5”

Dimensions (metric)

12.06cm x 24.13cm x 10.16cm


Very good, see description


2 ibs 12oz

Item Number


Shipping Box Size