Roof Tile

Accession Number

Roof Tile


Artist Nationality
Korean (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support

5 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3/4 in. (13.2 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Bruce and Inta Hasenkamp and Museum purchase made possible by Elder and Mrs. Sang-Yong Nam

Subject matter
The lotus motif, because of its association with Buddhism, was a favorite design for the end-tiles on the roofs of Korean palaces and temples. At first the lotus medallion decorating the faces of end-tiles was single layers and consisted of six to eight petals surrounding a central ovary or seedpod. Later the lotus design grew more complex with additional decoration on each petal as well as super-imposed rows of petals. This is an example of a lotus medallion with a double layer of petal.

Physical Description
This is an example of a lotus medallion with a double layer of petal. Two rows of eight petals each are arranged around a double-ring seedpod. The outer ring of the seedpod has no design. The inner ring of the seedpod contains a central seed surrounded by six peripheral seeds (1+6 seed pattern). The outer rim is embellished with a bead pattern.

This gray-white, high-fired earthenware concave eave-end roof tile with an eight-petal lotus design was made from fine clay mixed with a small amount of sand. The reverse side shows signs of having been joined to a flat tile, while traces of trimming and smoothing with water are also visible. The round ovary is circumscribed by double lines and contains seven seeds: one in the center surrounded by six more.
[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2017) p.37]

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
roof tile

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
lotus (motif)
roofing tile

3 Related Resources

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ FFW, Lower Level ➜ 053 (Education Center Display Cabinets) ➜ Cabinet A ➜ Shelf 3