A Chinese ‘Cizhou Type’ Pottery Pillow, Song Dynasty c.12th Century.

A Song or Jin Cizhou type pottery kidney shaped pillow with Sgraffiato and moulded decoration to the sides, c.12th Century. The incised decoration to the top is combed with wavy lines ,the side is deeply moulded with scrolling foliage. Piece was then covered in a green-glaze with pale ochre to the sides. The base is unglazed which has an inscription, a drawing of a face and a building, these are all highly likely to be contemporary with the piece.


In very good condition, a piece of glaze that has dribbled down on the back has been chipped. Some wear.
Length : 26.9 cm (10 1/2 inches)
A Private Collection of Early Chinese Ceramics c.1970-1990.
Stock number
For related Cizhou pillows see : The Freedom of Clay and Brush Through Seven Centuries in Northern China : Tz`u-chou Type Wares, 960 – 1660 A.D. (Yutaka Mino, Indianapolis Museum of Art,1981).


Cizhou Pottery :

The name Cizhou originated from the ancient area of Cizhou, encompassing a broad arc across China, which was first recorded during the Sui dynasty (581-618). However, the location constantly shifted and though the area of Cizhou is mentioned in the Tang dynasty (618-906) and Five Dynasties (906-960), each referred to an altered location. During the Song, Jin (1125-1234), Yuan (1279-1368), and partly into the Ming dynasties (1368-1644) the kiln areas of Cizhou were primarily concentrated in the northern provinces of Hebei, Henan, and Shaanxi.