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Large Roof Tile End


Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE)

Not on view

Tile ends are a decorative and functional component of traditional Chinese architecture. The example here is believed to have appeared at the end of a rooftop. The geometric relief pattern represents one of the two known decorative programs for such tiles. The pattern likely represents mythical yunqi, or “clouds and life energy,” a motif used to evoke immortality. Positioning such tile ends on a rooftop connected the building with the heavens, symbolizing it permanence.

Large Roof Tile End, Earthenware, China

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