Song Brick Tiles

The Song dynasty (960–1279) is considered the most culturally brilliant era in later imperial Chinese history. A massive expansion during this time produced government and public buildings and tombs with decorated interior walls decorations with pottery brick tiles. These tiles were inexpensive, mold made from wet clay, fired in a kiln, covered in white slip and painted with polychrome colors. Some were purely decorative and others, were wishes for happiness and comfort in the deceased’s afterlife called mingqi. As China’s trade expanded along the Silk Roads foreign influence affected the tiles representations and themes. These influences included imported architectural elements in a tile’s frame such as the elegant pointed Indian ogee. Previously decorative elements were large, hand-made stone reliefs for walls and doors in tombs for the rich, but during the Song they were used also for government, religious and private buildings and pagodas. Song brick tiles are admired for their diversity with subjects depicting holiday celebrations, mythology, auspicious symbols (wealth, health, longevity); decorative images of animals, birds, plants, trees, fruits and wishes for the deceased to have a comfortable and happy afterlife expressed using visual puns. As most ancient buildings containing, these pieces used ancient traditional un-reinforced Chinese mud/brick construction and were subject to disasters like earthquakes, floods, fires, few have survived intact, and often required repair and restoration.

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  • Sale!

    Ceramic Tile of Couple Feasting and Figure Pointing to Flying Bat, China (3349BLE) SPECIAL PRICE

    Original price was: $450.00.Current price is: $325.00.

    This late Song dynasty earthenware ceramic brick tile portrays a couple sitting behind a banquet table with foods placed in front of them. On the right are two figures, one of whom points to a stylized image of a bat flying in the sky.

  • Song Dynasty Tile of a Foreigner, China (1516A-BOK) $475

    H: 6.875”  W: 5.25”  D: 2.25 | FREE SHIPPING

    This fascinating thick Song pottery brick is a low-fired depiction of a  dwarf foreigner with a rotund belly, a large head and nose, an open mouth and abnormal features. The Chinese believed dwarfs could ward off evil spirits and sickness, attract peace and blessings (fu) and were very wise. Images of dwarfs became so popular, some were produced in numbers.




  • 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.

  • Song Dynasty Tile of a Mythical Winged Pixiu, China (4019LKE) $485

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

    This Song dynasty pottery brick tile depicts a pixiu, a mythical and a powerful feng shui symbol of wealth that brings money and good fortune and protect people from losing wealth. This fantastic winged creature has a dragon’s tail and head and a lion’s with an intensely 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.

  • Song Dynasty Tile of Musician with Lute, China (3998BOK) $475

    H: 9”  W: 9”  D: 2.25” | FREE SHIPPING

    This thick decorative Song brick tile portrays a seated female musician holding a lute  in a hall with attendants on each side and third person in the distance framed in a decorative wide border with a pointed ogee arch. Since most ancient buildings with these pieces used un-reinforced fired construction, they were subject to disasters and few survived intact.

  • Sale!

    Song Dynasty Tile of Wéiqí Board Game Players, China (3346BKE) $495 SPECIAL PRICE $395

    Original price was: $495.00.Current price is: $395.00.
    H: 11”  W: 9.5”  D: 2” | FREE SHIPPING Within Continental U.S.!

    As part of the The Song dynasty cultural expansion, government and public buildings and tombs were built with interior walls decorated with earthenware unglazed mold-made brick tiles.  This fanciful vibrant tile with a scalloped frame  portrays two people wéiqí which originated in China over 2500 years ago and is the world’s oldest ( and most complex) board game still played.

  • Song Dynasty Tile of Woman Ascending to Heaven, China (3348BLK) $445

    H: 6.5”  W: 8.125  D: 1.5” | FREE SHIPPING

    This ancient Song dynasty tile is likely a memorial tile as it portrays an official, hands in a farewell gesture looking up with devotion to his wife or mother ascending toward heavens on a cloud.  A very striking and emotive scene, it would be a great wall piece with an appropriate mount.

  • Song Dynbasty Tile of Immortal with Firecracker, China (5515LEM) $495

    H: 7”  W: 5”  D: 2.75” | FREE SHIPPING

    This Song earthenware tile depicts the legendary scholar, poet and alchemist Taoist deity Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals, who sought to discover the elixir of immortality and used charms still used in Chinese homes to prevent illness and ward off evil. He and his fly whisk are auspicious symbols of longevity and a wish for immortality.

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