The present lot appears to be one of a recognized extant group of glazed earthenware tiles dating to the Northern Qi dynasty and depicting various demonic monsters and animals with mythical attributes. Compare the very similar tiles illustrated in Kaikodo Journal, New York, 1996, pp. 162-164 and 245-247, no. 74, in which Mary Ann Rogers relates the imagery of the tiles to that of Near Eastern, namely Sassanian, objects found in 6th century tombs. See, also, the article by Tina Pang, 'Some Chinese Glazed Tiles of the 6th Century', Oriental Art, Vol. XLIV, No. 4, 1998-1999, pp. 61-68, in which the author explores the possible function of the tiles, proposing that they were created for use in tomb architecture.