Chinese ceramic temple

This miniature building was made in the 19th century and is modelled on a Shenist folk temple to nature gods and patron gods. The Chinese text on the pillars can be translated as ‘Fiction or reality, we revisit our ancestors with these figures’. It was probably made at a workshop called Rui Yuan in Shiwan, Foshan City in China.


  • Chinese ceramic temple

Research Activities


Use a map or globe to find China. Then see if you can find Foshan CIty in the Guangdong province.


The text refers to ‘ancestors’. Do you know what an ‘Ancestor’ is? Find out and discuss how people in the 19th century may have used this model temple


Perhaps you know something about your ancestors? Could you create a model or sculpture that tells people about your ancestors?

Artefacts in exhibition case The Beaney Museum

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