Double Gourd Shan Shui Cricket Cage

c. 1900
W: 4.5" D: 2.75" H: 2.75"
Natural Material
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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 small cricket cage indicates it was designed to be portable, carried around in a pocket or strung on a waistband. The original hardwood lid dates to the early 20th century and is perforated with round holes lined in bone for airflow. Comprised of dried gourd, the body of the cage is impressed with a painterly "shan shui" landscape and molded to a double gourd shape, a symbol of luck and prosperity.

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