Fine Chinese Ming Dynasty Painted Pottery Tile with Oxford TL Test (Meng Zong)
This exceptional and rare pottery tile was made during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). It depicts a scene from the story of Meng Zong, one of the stories of the twenty-four paragons of filial piety and features the kneeling figure of Meng Zong in a bamboo grove.
We take this version of the story from the excellent Shanxi Museum / China Institute book, "Theater, Life and the Afterlife" (ISBN 978-7-03-032940-0): "Meng Zong lived during the Three Kingdoms period. His old mother had been very ill and one winter she wanted to eat bamboo shoots. As it was impossible to obtain them, Meng wandered into the bamboo forest and wept. His filial piety moved heaven and earth, and bamboo shoots miraculously emerged from a crack in the ground. Meng carried them home and cooked up a delicious soup for his mother, who ate it and recovered completely from her illness."
In our tile Meng Zong kneels with his right hand placed upon a bamboo stem, his left hand raised but hidden within the long sleeve of his robe. His robe is belted and tied at the waist; note also the detail of Meng Zong's hair and head gear. The same level of detail has been applied to the bamboo, both stems and leaves. Behind Meng Zong is a flowering tree.
The tile has been "cold painted" in various brightly-coloured pigments, very good traces of which still remain. In places on the surface are traces of ancient plant/root growths and around the sides of the tile are remains of the original white mortar (which can quite easily be removed, although we like to see it left in place).
Length 25.5 cm (10 inches), height 20 cm (7.75 inches), depth 10 cm (4 inches). Although there are a few minor chips to the ends of the most vulnerable parts, this tile is in fine condition with no sign of any restoration or repair.
As with many of our finer and rarer items, we have had this tile tested by Oxford Authentications, the only testers of ancient pottery accepted by all major dealers, auction houses and museums worldwide, and the Thermoluminescence Analysis Report that confirms the antiquity of this tile item is shown with our images.
It is difficult to realistically show this tile in a two-dimensional image. It is available to view, here at our gallery, and we are certain that anyone seeing it will agree that it is much more impressive in reality than it appears on a computer screen!
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