Pillow with hawk hunting a swan (spring hunt)

Artist: Zhang Family Workshop

Period: Jin dynasty (1115–1234)

Date: 12th–13th century

Culture: China

Medium: Stoneware painted with brown and black pigment on white slip under transparent glaze (Cizhou ware)

Dimensions: L. 16 1/8 in. (41 cm); H. 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm); D. 11 3/4 in. (29.8 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation, 1985

Accession Number: 1985.214.132


The spring hunt and a related autumnal event were integral to the yearly cycle of the Jurchen, a nomadic people from the northeast who controlled much of northern China as the Jin dynasty. The motif of a tiny hawk capturing a much larger swan (or goose) was found in jade, textiles, and ceramics produced during their rule.