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Cloud-Shaped Pillow with Peony Scroll

A flat-lidded pale ceramic in a floral-like shape, a delicate floral motif in relief at top and on the sides.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A flat-lidded pale ceramic in a floral-like shape, a delicate floral motif in relief at top and on the sides.


Northern Song dynasty (960–1127), late 10th/early 11th century



About this artwork

With its sturdy stoneware body and incised and carved decorations, this pillow is an example of Cizhou ware, a type of ceramic crafted in northern China. While ceramic pillows were initially perceived solely as items for burial, it is now believed they were also utilized in daily life. The ceramic material served as an efficient cooling aid during hot summer days, while auspicious decorative motifs made these objects ideal gifts for special occasions. Symbolizing wealth, love, and feminine beauty, the motif of peonies frequently adorns Cizhou pillows, including this one here.


On View, Gallery 134


Arts of Asia


Cloud-Shaped Pillow with Peony Scroll


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

960 CE–1050


Cizhou ware; stoneware, slip-coated with underglaze carved, incised, and inlaid decoration


9.6 × 21.6 × 17.8 cm (3 3/4 × 8 1/2 × 7 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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