Chinese Song Dynasty Title Buddha Terracotta with Hand Print Signature 960-1127 A.D.
Size: High 30cm, wide 30cm, weight 6.3kg
A terracotta tile with a facing high-relief figure of a female in floor-length robe with sash to the shoulders, holding a fan in both hands, within a florid border.
Object history: Ex England Auction House, previously acquired 1970s-1990s.Hong Kong collection, Ex West Country collection, UK.
Object literature: The Song Dynasty was a period of great artistic achievement in China, and one of the forms of art that flourished during this time was the production of ceramic tiles. These tiles were used for a variety of purposes, from decorating the walls of homes and palaces to paving the floors of temples and public buildings.
The Song Dynasty is divided into two periods, the Northern Song (960-1127) and the Southern Song (1127-1279). The production of tiles during this time was concentrated in a few major centers, including the cities of Jingdezhen, Hangzhou, and Foshan.
One of the most distinctive features of Song Dynasty tiles is their glazes. The Song potters developed a range of glazes that were both visually stunning and technically innovative. One of the most famous of these is the "celadon" glaze, a pale green glaze that was achieved through careful control of the firing process. Other popular glazes included white, black, and brown.
Another notable feature of Song Dynasty tiles is their intricate designs. The Song potters were known for their skill in carving and painting intricate patterns onto the surface of their tiles. Many of these patterns were inspired by nature, including flowers, birds, and landscapes.
One of the most famous types of Song Dynasty tile is the "qinghua" tile, which features a blue and white design. These tiles were often used to decorate the walls of important buildings, and they remain highly prized by collectors today.
In addition to their decorative uses, Song Dynasty tiles were also used for practical purposes. For example, tiles were often used to line the floors of important buildings, including temples and palaces. These tiles were designed to be sturdy and durable, and many of them have survived to the present day.
Overall, Song Dynasty tiles are a testament to the skill and creativity of the potters who produced them. These beautiful and functional objects continue to inspire and delight people today, more than 700 years after they were first created.