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Pillow, approx. 1206–1368

Pillow, approx. 1206–1368

Pillow, approx. 12061368. China; Hebei province. Cizhou ware, high-fired stoneware with overglaze painted decoration. The Avery Brundage Collection, B65P51.

The Taoist themes of immortality and longevity decorating this ceramic pillow suggest that it served a functional purpose in the home; pillows such as this one were also sometimes buried with the dead. The sophisticated and fluid brushwork used here to render a deer surrounded by five clouds exemplifies the mature painting technique associated with late Cizhou wares.