Mottled Brown Cat Headrest

c. 1900
$780 USD
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W: 12.5" D: 5.25" H: 6.0"
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To keep her elaborate hairstyle intact while sleeping, a well-to-do Qing-dynasty woman once used this ceramic headrest as a pillow. The headrest is shaped as a crouching house cat, cloaked in a beautifully irregular warm brown glaze. Drawn upon its forehead is the Chinese character for 'king,' suggesting that this playful cat embodies the spirit of a tiger. The tiger is known as the "king of the wild beasts" in Chinese folklore, and remains an emblem of courage, dignity, and ferocity. Believed to protect against evil spirits, this fearsome cat is the ideal guardian for a headrest pillow, protecting its owner while she dreams.

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