DESCRIPTION: A rare Han Dynasty grey pottery pictorial tile executed with impressed designs of horses and phoenixes. Characteristic of architectural tiles found on walls of cave tombs in Sichuan Province, this one depicts three lively prancing horses with five stylized phoenixes overhead. A repeating diamond pattern forms the upper and lower border. The faint red pigment seen in several places is actually ancient calligraphy detailing its placement in the structure, i.e. “Westside of the entrance.”
The tile has been professionally mounted in a “shadow box” format with a gold leaf wood frame; the back is fitted with a French mount that holds the tile’s weight while hanging. This particular tile was not T.L. tested, but was among a group from the same series in which several were tested. A color copy of one of those tests, done in April of 2002 by Oxford Authentication, is included with the tile, and dates the set from the Eastern Han Dynasty, c. 100- 220 A.D. (authenticity is guaranteed). Several tiles from this series were prominently featured in the publication, “Celestial Horses,” published by T.K. Inc., with a preface by Brian A. Dursum, Director of the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. DIMENSIONS: 52 ½” long x 24 ½” high x 2 1/4” thick (includes frame).