Double Guardian Headrest

c. 1900
$1,480 USD
Make an Offer
W: 10.0" D: 5.25" H: 5.5"
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
Estimated Shipping

To keep her elaborate hairstyle intact while sleeping, a well-to-do Qing-dynasty woman once used this ceramic headrest as a pillow. Painted in the style of Ming-dynasty cizhou ware, this ceramic headrest was painted with gestural brushstrokes of warm browns atop a creamy-white slip base. The headrest is supported by two crouching mythical guardians, with fearsome expressions meant to protect the sleeping owner from evil spirits. In the center is the image of a tiger, known as the "king of the wild beasts" in Chinese folklore, and an emblem of courage, dignity, and ferocity. Painted atop the headrest is the calming scene of a scholar fishing in a meditation garden - intended to encourage peaceful dreams while the guardians below protect from nightmares.

Questions? Ask us

Headrests and neck pillows have been used since ancient times to keep the head elevated while sleeping and hold the body in a comfortable position. Whether functional or purely decorative, such headrests were crafted from a variety of materials and were often decorated with elaborate patterns or symbolic motifs.


What They're Saying

Portrait lovell
Suzanne Lovell | Suzanne Lovell, Inc.

“I am particularly fond of PAGODA RED as we have known the family for so long. Betsy is a professional in every way and her intelligent taste comes from a long line of family knowledge in the arts. She and her team are the very best to work with and we find treasures with every visit!”

Receive our weekly email on design &
creating memorable spaces