Art/ Collection/ Art Object

隋至唐初 陶龜硯
"Inkstone" and Cover in the Shape of a Turtle

Sui (581–618)–Tang (618–907) dynasty
ca. 6th–7th century
H. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm); W. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm); L. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 2003
Accession Number:
2003.82a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 207
Turtles and tortoises, symbols of longevity and endurance, have long been associated with divination in ancient China. Here, the shell is engraved with the eight trigrams (bagua) used in Daoist cosmology, which became increasingly important during the Sui and Tang dynasties.
[ J. J. Lally & Co. , New York, until 2003; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Ancient China," 2005.

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