Song Dynasty Tile of a Lion Dance, China (4001BLE) $495


H: 7.25”  W: 11.5”  D: 1.75” | FREE SHIPPING IN CONTINENTAL U.S.!

This animated scene of this 10-12th century tile depicts the traditional Chinese Lion Dance performed at Chinese New Year, weddings, other important events and to honor guests, bring prosperity, happiness, good luck and ward off evil spirits. During the Song Dynasty tiles adorned the wall of government and important buildings as well as tombs with depictions of celebrations, mythology and deities and often included mythical animals, plants, vegetation and other auspicious objects.


The Song dynasty (960–1279) is considered the most culturally brilliant era in later imperial Chinese history. A massive expansion during this dynasty produced government, public and religious buildings and tombs with walls decorated with earthenware unglazed mold-made brick tiles.  Some were purely decorative and others  were wishes for happiness and comfort in the  deceased’s  afterlife called mingqi.  Brick tiles depicted holiday celebrations and mythology, as well as mythical animals, plants, vegetation and other auspicious objects. This thin brick depicts a traditional lion dance inside a balanced frame has two scared children on the left, a person behind the lion and a fourth on the right with his hands in anjali mudra. Usually used as a sign of adoration or respect, it may be a fearful prayer that the lion hurts no one. Performed by two dancers in a costume simulating the lion’s movements, the front performer controls the head and back the hindquarters. Dating back two millennia, the dance is based on a folk tale about a lion showing his power repelling a monster who attacked a village. Upon its return, the lion was not present so the villagers in a lion costume danced and scared the monster away forever. Performed at Chinese New Year to attract prosperity and good luck for the coming year (fu), it is also used as holiday and business entertainment purposes. Old un-reinforced buildings with these pieces used fired mud/brick construction subject to earthquakes, floods, fires and war, so few survived intact without restoration. Originally covered with slip and polychrome, this tile is in relatively good condition with expected surface wear, nicks and abrasions, possible restorations on the right and attached burial residue. With a proper mount this would make a good wall decoration. 

Additional information

Dimensions 18 × 12 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Ancient, Song Dynasty



Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 7.25” W: 11.5” D: 1.75”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 18.41cm W: 29.21cm D: 4.44cm

Item Number



Good condition, see description

Shipping Box Size