This is a beautiful ancient Chinese hollowed carved natural stone lidded
pillow form box with intricately carved symbols and bird/dragon relief. This is
a rare piece to own and collect or add to an existing collection. There is a
chip in the top inner lid that does not affect the function or exterior
appearance as shown in photos. This ancient natural stone pillow box weighs 2.5
pounds and measures approximately 8.5 inches in length, 4 inches in height and
3.5 inches width.
Ancient Chinese pillows are often hard pillows, made from stone, wood, bamboo,
bronze, or porcelain instead of stuffed fabric. And the shape and contents of
pillows have varied over time.
The stone pillow, usually made from jade, was believed to transform the energy
from the stone to the human brain. Derived from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644),
this piece of material was trusted to cure headaches or depressions, or simply
to increase the intelligence. It was more common in the royal and noble
families because it was expensive and rare.
There are a few theories as to why the ancient Chinese slept on such hard and
seemingly uncomfortable headrests. It’s believed the pillows kept people cool
during southern China’s hot summer nights. Beyond this practical function, they
also doubled as decorations adorned with intricate designs that took extreme
skill to create.
These designs also held symbolic meanings: Lions on a pillow were believed to
ward off evil spirits; dragons were reserved for royals and aristocrats; lotus
flower or baby shapes were often wedding gifts in hopes of children. Some
headrests were engraved with poems or philosophical quotes.