Chinese Ming Dynasty Glazed Roof Ridge Tile - Horse & Rider
This impressive and detailed ridge tile was made during the latter part of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), most likely a product of one of the tile-works kilns in Shanxi, north China. Similar examples are illustrated and described in the British Museum book "Ming Ceramics". The rider is a celestial warrior, apparently not actually in the act of riding the horse, but sitting in contemplation. The moulded decoration to the central support of the horse shows cloud patterns, suggesting this is a flying horse. It is coated in green, black and yellow-brown glazes. To the unglazed base in what appears to be a black fired-on pigment, are Chinese characters reading "East 11", presumably the position for which this tile was made.
Height 36 cm (14 inches), length 26 cm (10.25 inches). Tiles such as this more often than not will have some degree of loss although overall this is a very nice and decorative example. There are some surface chips in places, and one ear of the horse is missing, but there is no sign of any repair or restoration.
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