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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Pillow in the Form of Recumbent, Addorsed Lions Supporting a Headrest with Bird-and-Flower Décor
Work Type
12th-13th century
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Jin dynasty, 1115-1234
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Cizhou-type sancai (three-color) ware: molded buff earthenware with lead-fluxed clear, emerald-green, and caramel-yellow glazes
H. 13.2 x W. 38.2 x D. 18.3 cm (5 3/16 x 15 1/16 x 7 3/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
William B. Goldstein, M.D., Wilton, Connecticut.
Purchased from J.J. Lally & Co., New York

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of William B. Goldstein, M.D., and partial purchase through the Anthony M. Solomon Fund for the Acquisition of Asian Art
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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The headrest with wide concave top carved in low relief with a pair of songbirds perched on a leafy camellia spray reserved on a punched ground, all within a wide ruyi-shaped border and covered with an emerald-green glaze; the base sculpted in the form of two recumbent Buddhist lions shown with their heads emerging at either end to face the observer with bold menacing expressions, their jaws clenched on trailing ribbons, the female identified by her slightly smaller head and by the small cub shown in front playing with a brocade ball; the lions covered with green glaze and their backs conjoined to form the back of the pillow, their differently styled manes carved in relief on the back and glazed amber yellow, their eyes picked out in black and their teeth and claws glazed white; the cub splashed with amber and green and the brocade ball in white, the glazes all applied over a layer of white slip and unusually well controlled, the flat base left unglazed showing the smooth buff earthenware body, the nostrils of the lions pierced through to serve as firing holes.

Exhibition History

Verification Level

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