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Tile: C.2-1968

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 28 - Arts of Asia Gallery


Maker: Unknown




Unglazed grey earthenware tomb tile, which originally faced the interior or a Han brick tomb. With impressed and incised designs of a winged horse and a tree in which a bird perches. Above the horse, another slightly different winged creature hovers. The tile still has traces of red, white and light yellow paint, and also in the upper left hand corner of the tree a wooden stamp impression remains.

According to William White, a lute made from the wood of the Wu t'ung tree would cure the sick, quiet the restles spirit, and draw the fairies and phoenixes to the music. Down through the ages coffins made of its wood ensured peace of the departed spirit. The bird in the tree is perhaps a phoenix, for this bird of good omen would only rest in the Wu t'ung tree.


History note: Probably from the area of Qincun, Loyang in Henan.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Mrs Walter Sedgwick through National Art Collections Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 40.6 cm
Length: 44.4 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1968-02-01) by Sedgwick, Walter, Mrs


Han Dynasty (BC 206 - AD 220)
Circa -0202 - -0220

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References and bibliographic entries

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Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2-1968
Primary reference Number: 17472
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Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 26 November 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Tile" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-14 17:56:02

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