This is a pottery pillow covered in a green and a yellow glaze, with a sgraffito design on top.
Sgraffito is a technique were a design is carved into the wet clay.In this case waves, clouds or plants, I’m not sure.
There are some more mysteries round this pillow, to be exact; the dating of it. By researching it many suggestions were made. I found the first seller, an auction house, who dated it Tang to Liao dynasties. The dealer I bought it from dates it Song to Jin, 12th century.
It is a reputed dealer, so I’m inclined to follow them on their dating. But the glaze reminds me of the Liao dynasty too. Similar example from a reputed dealer is dated to the Northern Song.It is a Cizhou type of pottery. Cizhou was developed during the Northern Song period in the 11-12th century. Cizhou was initially the name of a kiln area in Southern Hebei province. Cizhou ware consisted of a transparent glaze applied on a white slipped-body, but was later followed by numerous variations.
This piece is made from a grey/brown clay, and it measures 11,5 x 16,5 x 24 cm. The sides are covered with a yellow glaze, and it has a hole in it to prevent it from bursting in the kiln. The top is glazed in green. There are a few chips to the rim, a few of them restored. These chips are to be expected on these wares.
So does the green, with expected dull patches on the surface. I’m overall inclined to date it to the 12th century, or there about.
In the meanwhile I found a good match in a Sotheby’s catalogue.