Blue and White Headrest with Guardian Lion

c. 1850
$280 USD
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W: 5.25" D: 2.25" H: 4.75"
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In order to keep her elaborate hairstyle intact while sleeping, a well-to-do Qing-dynasty woman once used this ceramic box as a pillow. Lavishly decorated in the traditional blue-and-white style, the headrest features a guardian lion in pursuit of an embroidered ball, a symbol of love and loyalty. A powerful guardian figure, the lion was intended to protect the woman from evil forces while she slept. Themselves symbols of happiness and longevity, the outstretched wings of two bats frame perforated coin motifs atop the headrest, likely included as a form of ventilation.

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