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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


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  • Object type

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  • Description

    Porcelain tile. The tile has a white body and transparent glaze. Where exposed to firing , the body is reddish brown.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1403-1424
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 37 millimetres
    • Width: 188 millimetres
    • Depth: 149 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Room 95 label text:

    PDF A458

    White porcelain brick

    This white porcelain brick is L shaped and glazed on one side only. It was ordered as building material for the Da Bao’en si in Zhubaoshan outside Nanjing. The Yongle emperor ordered this tower and temple to be built as a memorial to his dead parents. Construction began in AD 1412 and the main structure of the tower was completed in AD 1419 and the temple finished in AD 1431. The pagoda was nine stories high and was known in Europe as the Porcelain Pagoda because of these bricks used as a building material. Before it was destroyed in the Taiping Rebellion in AD 1853–54 it was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

    Porcelain with transparent glaze
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Yongle period, about AD 1412-1419


  • Location


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF card: Gift of H. R. N. Norton

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  • Registration number


Glazed porcelain tile. Unglazed section has burnt reddish brown.

Glazed porcelain tile. Unglazed section has burnt reddish brown.

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Object reference number: RRC39355

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