Young girls are quite often shown as servants in the midst of serving their master. In this interesting ceramic pillow from the 12th Dynasty, a girl takes the shape of a headrest to literally be slept upon. She is Cizhou glazed ceramic stoneware and is one of many known reclining child pillows.

Unknown, Ceramic Pillow, c.1175, Jin Dynasty, British Museum, London.

Unknown, Ceramic Pillow, c.1175, Jin Dynasty, British Museum, London.

Ceramic pillows were used to protect elaborate hairstyles and makeup during sleep. Yet they are not possibly comfortable, which shows an extreme method of maintaining their social appearance for some women. First made in the 7th century, ceramics pillows were made for widespread use by 1000 CE. The girl herself is reclining on some sort of pillow, but she is smiling as if to say, “I am more comfortable than you.”

Interestingly, across her shoulders and hips there is an inscription reading: “The wind rustles flowers under a snow white moon.” This is probably from a longer poem, dedicated to the owner of the pillow who may have been given it as a gift from a suitor.

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