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White Glazed Pillow with Black Patterns of Cuju
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2022.01.25 14:56:17

Measurements: 29.5 cm long, 19.5 cm wide, 10.5 cm high
Period: Song dynasty (960--1279)
Provenance: Donation in 2001

Octagonal in form, the pillow is adorned with black designs of a boy playing football (cuju). Its walls have been embellished with a band of black foliage sprays. In the portrait, a child is playing Cuju with his arm outstretched, and his upper body leaning forward. His left foot is placed on the ground, and his right foot remains lifted, indulging in the action of kicking the ball. Cuju originated from the Warring States Period. During the Song Dynasty, professional Cuju players emerged and were trained. Gradually, it became a sport.

Ceramic pillows were first fired in the Sui Dynasty and became popular after the Tang Dynasty. It witnessed a period of development and prosperity during the Song Dynasty, and at that time, not only did the size of the ball increase , but the decorative techniques also progressed tremendously, with varied techniques being adopted; these were engraving, incising, removing, impressing, applique, etc., and they greatly enriched the expressiveness and artistry of ceramic pillows.