Chinese Jin Dynasty Filial Piety Pottery Tile (AD 1115 - 1234) Cao E
This pottery tile was made during the Jin Dynasty (AD 1115 - 1234) and has been excavated from Shanxi province. It depicts a scene from one of the stories of the twenty-four paragons of filial piety, that of the heartbreaking story of Cao E,
Cao E lived during the Eastern Han dynasty. When she was fourteen her father accidentally drowned in the river and his body was swept away by the waves. Cao was grief-stricken. She cried as she looked for his body along the riverbank, and she then threw herself into the river. Three days later, both her and her father's remains surfaced from the river. Cao's filial piety caused a sensation throughout the country, and the court approved the building of a temple and erection of a stele on the riverbank to commemorate Cao E.
The tile is made from a grey pottery. It is rectangular in shape, measuring 19.5 cm x 17 cm. There is some surface wear and chips but no repair or restoration.
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.
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