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Tile End with Double Horses and Birds under a Tree 树下双马双禽纹半瓦当

Tile End with Double Horses and Birds under a Tree
Pottery Designs from the State of Qi in the Warring States Period 战国齐

This tile end dates to the Warring States period and was found in the area of the Qi State, what is now modern Shandong province.

The Qi tile end designs fall into roughly three major divisions. The first of these reflects life around them and is based on common scenes. Thus, animals, objects, and nature are all very common. Trees, mountains, and combinations may appear to have symbolic meaning because they correspond to myths and tales or they may simply be mountains, birds, and other things that are thought beautiful. The second type of tile has abstract patterns and designs and is symmetrical, and the third type of tile uses asymmetry deliberately to include multiple symbols or ideas.

The tiles above and on subsequent pages are of the first type and show birds, horses, dogs, oxen, among others. This is just a small sampling of the range of animal used in the State of Qi for decoration on objects. The birds shown are quite different from the bird images shown on the Yan tiles, these are more like the phoenix designs that will be developed. The distinction between the horse shape on this tlle and the oxen shape on the previous tile is quite distinct. The following tile will show you another example of four legged animals.

China Index >> Historical Beijing in Pictures >> Neolithic and Early Dynasty Pottery and Roof Tiles

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Last update: September 2013
© Marilyn Shea, 2013