Song

(960-1279CE) The Song dynasty, considered the most culturally brilliant era in later imperial Chinese history, was one of the longest, peaceful, and affluent dynasties with advancements in agriculture, technology, and commerce. It saw the innovations of gunpowder and fireworks, the mechanical clock, navigation by compass, paper money, porcelain production, movable type, and superior ship building. China’s economy grew to triple that of Europe with a population of nearly 100 million. Large numbers of foreigners entered China along the Silk Roads bringing with them new ideas, religions, and social practices. In response, massive numbers of government, private and religious building and tombs were created. Cities increased and became more international with less government meddling in trade and economic affairs. Prosperity increased, society became more vibrant, literature, art and education improved with the invention of movable-type and increased woodblock printing, and civil service examinations expansion enhanced officials’ power causing a shift from a military/ upper-class aristocracy to a scholar/ administrative elite. Wood was replaced with more durable and inflammable fired bricks in buildings. The insides of the new edifices of buildings, temples, and even tombs were embellished with inexpensive mold-made decorative brick tiles filled with wet clay, fired, covered with a white slip, painted in polychrome, and placed on walls. Subjects included mythology, auspicious symbols for wealth, health,
happiness, and long life and animals, plants, and trees that were symbolic wishes for other successful endeavors and scenes of everyday life.

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

    $475.00
    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

    $495.00
    H: 7.25”  W: 11.5”  D: 1.75” | FREE SHIPPING

    This animated scene 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 tombs as well as government and important buildings 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

    $485.00
    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

    $475.00
    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.

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

    $445.00
    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

    $495.00
    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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