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Roof tile figure of the Immortal Han Xiangzi

1490/1620

British Museum

British Museum

There are many stories about Han Xiang, who lived in the ninth century. He was the nephew of a very famous writer, who encouraged him to study, but he was generally idle and good-for-nothing. He once wrote some poetry about flowers blooming spontaneously, and then produced the flowers out of the earth. Later, he became a pupil of Lu Yan, a Daoist patriarch, and was taken up into the peach-tree of the gods. He fell from its branches and entered into eternal life. He is now ranked as one of the Eight Immortals, known as Han Xiangzi, and is recognizable by his flute.This figure of Han Xiangzi is not a statue, but a ridge tile from the roof of a building. It is made of earthenware with sancai (three-colour) lead glaze.

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Details

  • Title: Roof tile figure of the Immortal Han Xiangzi
  • Date Created: 1490/1620
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 53.00cm; Length: 17.80cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: glazed; moulded
  • Registration number: 1973,0726.387
  • Production place: Made in Shanxi
  • Place: Found/Acquired China
  • Period/culture: Ming dynasty
  • Material: earthenware
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Bequeathed by Seligman, Brenda Zara

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