VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Yixing Sculpture of a Crab Eating a Snail
BATEA 804
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The overwhelming majority of Yixing wares are teapots and other decorative but functional objects, especially scholars’ objects. Before the twentieth century, decorative objects with no overt function are rare. This sculpture of a crab is extraordinarily life-like and is visually engaging from all angles.

History of the Object
Since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Yixing has been famous for its production of stoneware teapots, the properties of which were thought ideal for brewing tea. Scholars sometimes collaborated with potters to create works during this early period, and some of the potters themselves were scholars. Some of the first teapots exported to Europe were made from this ware. Today, Yixing wares are going through a revival and are still highly valued by collectors, tea connoisseurs and Chinese scholars alike.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Stoneware 
Measurements
Length 23.3 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; Jiangsu Province, Yixing County 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century 
Function
Decorative; Crabs symbolise harmony 
Acquisition
Purchased by Brian McElney, the Founder of the Museum of East Asian Art, in Hong Kong; formally accessioned into the collection in 2008. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
The Museum of East Asian Art 
Museum
The Museum of East Asian Art 
Credit line
 

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