Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Door Frame Tile from the "Porcelain Pagoda"

Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Yongle period (1403–24)
Glazed stoneware
H. 9 1/4 in (23.5 cm); W. 13 in. (33 cm); D. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase by subscription, 1879
Accession Number:
Not on view
To commemorate his parents, the Yongle emperor commissioned the construction of the Proclaiming Grace Temple (Bao'en si) in Nanjing. The temple's most prominent landmark was its "porcelain pagoda," a nine-story structure some 260 feet in height that was surfaced in colorful glazed ceramic tiles. The pagoda was destroyed in 1856 during the Taiping Rebellion, so that only fragments, including this elephant tile, have survived.
Samuel Putnam Avery Sr. , New York (until 1879)
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