Chinese Jin Dynasty Filial Piety Pottery Tile (AD 1115 - 1234) - Guo Ju
This pottery tile was made during the Jin Dynasty (AD 1115 - 1234) and has been excavated from Shanxi province. It depicts a scene from the story of Guo Ju, one of the stories of the twenty-four paragons of filial piety:
Guo Ju lived during the Han dynasty. His family was very poor and often went hungry. Guo told his wife that the impoverished family could not attend the needs of his starving mother and that their son was reducing his mother's portion of food. He suggested burying his son, as they could have another child in the future, whereas his mother was irreplaceable. When he had dug the hole to the depth of three feet, he suddenly unearthed gold. This surprise treasure helped the entire family overcome their difficulties.
The tile has been painted in white pigment with other coloured pigments on top. It measures 32.5 cm (12.75 inches) by 18 cm (7 inches). There is no sign of restoration or repair; very good condition.
We have taken this version of the story from the excellent Shanxi Museum / China Institute book, "Theater, Life and the Afterlife" (ISBN 978-7-03-032940-0) a book we highly recommend for anyone interested in Song, Jin, Yuan Dynasty pottery tiles, and where similar examples to our tile are illustrated.
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