Ming dynasty (AD 1368-1644)
Tower Height 58 cm, Length 149 cm, Width 89 cm
Excavated at Qianzhong Wangcun, Jiaxian County Helenan Province 1960
This funerary model building made of painted red earthenware features a three-courtyard complex with a memorial arch, The overall structure comprises ten buildings with pitched roofs and overhanging eaves, the eaves supported by blocks and brackets. There is one main hall and nine rooms. The buildings and the four gateways are encircled by a wall, making the overall structure a sihe yuan (four-walled courtyard house). Outside the main gate are two screen walls at 45 degrees to the compound wall, with a straight screen wall inside the gate in the front courtyard. There is an earthenware sedan chair in the left corner of the front courtyard; the rear courtyard has a grindstone and a mortar and pestle in the right corner, as well as a pig and a sheep.
This model manor was one of the funerary goods buried with a tomb occupant who died in 1577. It is modelled on the four-walled courtyard houses of central China. Its architectural features are characteristic of the period, providing invaluable evidence for research into ancient architecture and architectural art. This include the pitched roofs with overhanging eaves, memorial arch, hipped roof, painted blocks and brackets and overlapping tiles, and the ridge decorations. The horse and rider figure, men and women standing in separate lines to receive guests and see them off, servants and model chairs, tables and beds, as well as the human figure’s clothing, provide reliable evidence for research into the life and customs, furniture, and attire of the Ming dynasty.