Tile with celestial warrior
China, Shanxi province
Ming dynasty, dated 1548
Stoneware, with coloured lead glazes
Museum no. C.71-1939
Given by Mrs E.L. Cockell, in memory of Edward Lawrence Cockell
The armed warrior in high relief is probably the Buddhist deity, Wei Tuo. The tile is from an architectural frieze. An inscription on the back explains that it was made for a Buddhist temple in a village in northern China.
The body is high-fired stoneware, but it bears a low-firing lead glaze. The tile would therefore have been fired twice.
Inscription: 'Zhending prefecture, Jingjing county, Yi-an community, Mashan village, Fuchang temple. Rebuilt 27th year of Jiajing, 5th month, 18th day'