Roof tile, China

Roof tile, China

Roof tile
China
About 1500-1650
Museum no. C.363-1912

This water dragon ridge tile was probably made for a minor palace or temple hall, and was donated by a man resident then in Tanjin, Hebei province, north China. This tile illustrates a popular legend about the dragon living in the East Sea. It was believed that it rained whenever the monster opened its jaws to spout water. Thus its representation on the roof would protect against lightning and fire.