Cricket Cage

The exterior of this gourd is elaborately carved with a variety of designs. Immediately beneath the plain ivory rim is a band of stylized cloud collar, enclosed below by a horizontal band of fret motifs. The remainder of the surface is covered with hexagons and representations of the Eight Daoist Immortals: Li Tieguai, Zhongli Quan, Lan Caihe, Zhangguo Lao, He Xiangu, Lu Dongbin, Han Xiangzi, and Cao Guojiu.

The lid is formed by a plain ivory rim within which is set a carved wooden representation of a pair of large leonine creatures encircled by smaller animals of this type. Inset into the bottom of the wooden section is a semi-circular dome of darker wood with a reticulated design. The eyes and tongues of the leonine creatures are inset in a darker wood.

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 19th century
Medium
Gourd, ivory, tortoise shell
Dimensions
H x W: 12.4 x 6.5 cm (4 7/8 x 2 9/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1984.38.3a-c
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Container
Type

Cricket cage

Keywords
China, cricket, Immortal Woman He, Lan Caihe, lion, Lu Dongbin, Philosopher Han Xiang, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), Robert Hatfield Ellsworth collection, Royal Uncle Cao, WWII-era provenance, Zhongli Quan
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

The exterior of this gourd is elaborately carved with a variety of designs. Immediately beneath the plain ivory rim is a band of stylized cloud collar, enclosed below by a horizontal band of fret motifs. The remainder of the surface is covered with hexagons and representations of the Eight Daoist Immortals: Li Tieguai, Zhongli Quan, Lan Caihe, Zhangguo Lao, He Xiangu, Lu Dongbin, Han Xiangzi, and Cao Guojiu.

The lid is formed by a plain ivory rim within which is set a carved wooden representation of a pair of large leonine creatures encircled by smaller animals of this type. Inset into the bottom of the wooden section is a semi-circular dome of darker wood with a reticulated design. The eyes and tongues of the leonine creatures are inset in a darker wood.

Marking(s)

Within a square cartouche on the base are carved the four characters: Qianlong yuwan. This cannot be taken as an accurate date.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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