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  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1175-1250 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stoneware, incised, moulded and glazed

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery, case 26

This pillow is an example of Cizhou ware, a type of ceramic made in the northern part of China during the Jin dynasty (1115-1234). The term Cizhou encapsulates a range of wares made in several regions of northern China, often consisting of a stoneware body decorated with a bold design.
Ceramic pillows were an important item in the kilns producing Cizhou wares, and were made for both funerary use and as a neck support for the living. The stoneware body of this piece has taken on the shape of a lion through clever use of moulding and incising techniques, and brightly coloured glazes. Lions were sacred animals to Buddhists, so this pillow would have had a special meaning for its owner.

Physical description

Cizhou ware ceramic pillow with crouching lion base, incised and moulded decorations and coloured glazes.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1175-1250 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Stoneware, incised, moulded and glazed


Height: 12 cm, Length: 21.6 cm

Descriptive line

Pillow with crouching lion base, incised and moulded stoneware with coloured glazes, Cizhou ware, China, Jin dynasty, 1175-1250

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kerr, Rose. Song Dynasty Ceramics. London:V&A Publications, 2004. p. 74, no. 73.

Labels and date

Pillow with lion base
Jin dynasty
Cizhou kilns, north China

Some Chinese pillows are in the form of lions or tigers, probably for their protective power.

Stoneware with multi-coloured glaze
Museum no.C.568-1919 [2007]




Moulded; Incised; Glazed




East Asia Collection

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