ceramic pillow shaped like a reclining tiger with tail against PR side of body; flat top section decorated with floral designs and insect; brown and orange glaze

Tiger Pillow, late 12th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

This amusing pillow is modeled in the form of a crouching tiger, with head upturned and fangs bared. The body is covered with amber-orange glaze, which, in turn, is painted with lively black stripes imparting a naturalistic look and rhythmic flare. The top of the headrest is painted with a central medallion encircling a butterfly hovering above an orchid and lotus leaf, all flanked with floral sprays. The earliest dates inscribed on tiger-form pillows are from the Jin dynasty (1115-1234) and the theme itself may be derived from paintings of tigers, which were popular throughout the Song period (960-1279). This type of two-color (tan and black) slip painted decoration is one of over twenty decorative techniques developed at the several Cizhou kilns of North China. This marvelous example is exceptionally well preserved.

Details
Title
Tiger Pillow
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2000.89.1
Curator Approved

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ceramic pillow shaped like a reclining tiger with tail against PR side of body; flat top section decorated with floral designs and insect; brown and orange glaze