Republic period (1912–49), Hongxian mark and period (1915–16)
Porcelain painted with colored enamels over a transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
Gift of Mrs. J. Spier, 1925
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 219
Crickets, which have long been kept as pets in China, are symbols of happiness (xi) and auspiciousness (xi) in part because one name for these insects is xishuai and the initial character, xi, serves as a homonym for both words. This pair has both a Hongxian mark and a second mark reading jurentang, or the Hall where Benevolence Resides. Jurentang is the name of a house where Yuan Shikai (1859–1916), the autocratic first president of the Republic of China, lived and had his office.
Marking: On one, seal: Jüren tang zhi [made in the Hall where Benevolence Abides"]; on the other, reign mark (Hongxian nian zhi) of Yüan Shikai. Sue Valenstein, 1/3/72.