AGE: – Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD) – Rare
CONSTRUCTION: – Terracotta
DESCRIPTION: – RARE – Chinese Mingqi Beijing Courtyard Terracotta House – Front entrance broken & repaired (see pictures)
HEIGHT: – Various up to 31.5cm
WIDTH:– 87cm Front
DEPTH: – 63cm Sides
WEIGHT:– 44.35 kg.
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Rare Chinese Mingqi Beijing Courtyard Terracotta House – A funerary or burial object referred to as Mingqi, dating to the Ming Dynasty. This particular style of house is traditionally referred to as “Siheyuan” meaning a walled compound, or courtyard house, a style still seen in most of China today. Unfortunately, development and modernization is seeing many of these traditional homes replaced with modern buildings.
Traditional Siheyuan Courtyard houses vary considerably in size, depending on the wealth of the family. The basic peasant style is seen with very little decoration or ornamentation and are often made from mud brick, whilst the more lavish are decorated with beautiful ornate carvings, decorative tiled roof, large carved wooden ornate doors and windows with several internal rooms branching off the main courtyard.
The siheyuan courtyard house was built with the emphasis on layout, usually it was desirable for the entrance to face the south, considered to be the most auspicious according to Feng shui principles. There are many advantages related to the development of this style of courtyard house, some are practical and some are of a superstitions nature.
The Chinese believe that bad spirits can only move in a straight line, therefore this style of house with no windows, a single entrance and high walls acts as a block, preventing the bad spirits from entering.
Given China’s location, situated in the Northern Hemisphere, to the east of Europe, on the west coast of the Pacific, it geographically puts China into the path of circulating monsoons, typhoons and climatic extremes. The Siheyuan house was designed to give protection to the inhabitants and their livestock from these elements.
The article written by Ying Liu and Adenrele Awotona on “The Traditional Courtyard House in China” gives a more in-depth perspective of the origins and development of this type of architecture.
Chinese Mingqi Beijing Courtyard Terracotta House
This interesting website explains in more detail about the Ming dynasty Beijing house and ancient Chinese house styles.