Double Gourd Shan Shui Cricket Cage

c. 1900
$1,280 USD
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W: 4.5" D: 2.75" H: 2.75"
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The practice of keeping crickets as pets began in China as early as the Tang dynasty (618-907). Appreciated for their chirping "songs," crickets were caught at the end of summer and kept in ornate cages throughout the winter, often placed bedside. The slender form of this early 20th-century cricket cage indicates it was designed to be portable, carried around in a pocket or strung on a waistband. The cage is made of a dried gourd, grown within a mold in the double gourd shape, a symbol of luck and prosperity. The molded surface is subtly impressed with a painterly "shan shui" landscape and the opening is fitted with a hardwood lid with perforations lined in bone.

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