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Chinese mystery item

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    Posted 11 years ago

    (7 items)

    We recently acquired this piece and don't know what it might have been used for. It is a carved piece of wood measuring 6" in length and is decorated with a dragon design. We believe it's Chinese but not sure. The top comes off and it appears to have been used as a shaker of some sort. The top has four holes, all the other dots are decorative. The inside has a dark residue from years of use. Could it have been to separate tea leaves and dust? Any help would be appreciated!

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    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 11 years ago
      Hi. I think it is a Chinese cricket cage. It might be a carved gourd.
      The Chinese have collected them as a hobby for the last 200o years.
      They were kept in these boxes or cages.
      Yours looks to be nicely carved.
      The sound of a cricket.
      At night they were kept near a pillow.
      Symbolic of loneliness and isolation.
      They indicated seasonal change too.
      They also symbolise fertility.

      Nice article on them at this site:

    2. StumptownUSA, 11 years ago
      Wow, that's fascinating and very interesting article, I would never have guessed! Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge!!!
    3. toracat toracat, 10 years ago
      Hi that is a cricket house! or a way to take a fighting cricket to a fight or to take a pet cricket for a walk!! See my cricket house I posted if you lie!
    4. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 8 years ago
      Wow, hours upon hours of work gone into carving this.

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