Double Crane Headrest

Mid-20th Century
$280 USD
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W: 5.25" D: 2.5" H: 4.5"
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This simple, square ceramic block is actually a form of Chinese headrest or neck pillow. Popular during the Qing dynasty, rigid headrests such as this were used by upper-class women to protect their elaborate hairstyles by elevating the head during slumber. This decorative example dates to the mid-20th century and is finished with a milky white glaze and a colorful scene of two cranes beneath a pine tree with plum blossoms, rocks, and peonies. A scene layered with several auspicious motifs, this decoration conveys blessings of longevity, youth, wealth and honor. Cutouts on either end allow for circulation, one side perforated to resemble interlocking coins, a symbol of wealth and good fortune.

Minor hairline crack at oblong cutout.

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Headrests and neck pillows have been used since ancient times to keep the head elevated while sleeping and hold the body in a comfortable position. Whether functional or purely decorative, such headrests were crafted from a variety of materials and were often decorated with elaborate patterns or symbolic motifs.


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