octagonal-shaped box-like form; glazed white with central area of brown containing 14 Chinese characters in white slip on top; two flanking areas decorated with brown foliate designs

Octagonal Pillow, late 12th-early 13th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
G204expand_more

While octagonal head-rests were common during the Song and Jin dynasties, this example is distinguished by the calligraphy, written with white slip, which is a relatively rare technique. The fronds forming the fourteen character poem are executed in brown slip with particularly elegant brushstrokes. The poetic inscription reads: Spring drunkenness meets often with an overflow of flowers; Autumn chants face at length the graceful beauty of the moon. Pillows were typically inscribed with popular ballads, Confucian sayings, and poems. The inscriptions can be as short as one or two characters and as long as over a hundred characters.

Details
Title
Octagonal Pillow
Role
Artist
Accession Number
98.81.1
Curator Approved

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octagonal-shaped box-like form; glazed white with central area of brown containing 14 Chinese characters in white slip on top; two flanking areas decorated with brown foliate designs