Artist unknown / Pair of cricket containers / Late 17th centuryArtist unknown
Pair of cricket containers
Late 17th century

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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Name-CRT: Artist unknown
Title: Pair of cricket containers
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1666
Creation End Date: 1699
Creation Date: Late 17th century
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: gourd with heat incised decoration, ivory, and tortoise shell
Dimensions: H.6 x Dia.2-7/8 in. (overall)
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 96.69.1a,b
Credit Line: Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton

The Chinese have long enjoyed the sound of crickets. During the T'ang dynasty (A.D. 618-907), people began keeping crickets in their homes, and by the Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368-1644), it had become a scholarly pastime. By the 18th century, many writings existed describing the different varieties of crickets and their care.

During the winter months, crickets were kept in gourd containers like this, which were warmer than the ceramic ones used in summer. This gourd has an engraved design burnt into the surface with a heated stylus. The outdoor scene depicts a group of scholars enjoying tea and discussing books.

AMICA ID: MIA_.96.69.1a,b
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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