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Cricket Cage (Italy)

This is a cricket cage. It is dated ca. 1903 and we acquired it in 1916. Its medium is metal wire, stained wood. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Since early antiquity, crickets have been associated with happiness, good luck, and wealth. In China, cricket fighting as a blood sport is a popular pastime. However, unlike other blood sports, cricket fighting rarely causes injuries to the insects. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), cricket fighting was banned by the Communist government due to its association with the bourgeoisie, but in modern times it is undergoing a revival in the younger generations.

This object was donated by Eleanor Garnier Hewitt and Sarah Cooper Hewitt. It is credited Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.

  • Tile Tile
  • earthenware, glaze.
  • Museum purchase from the Misses Hewitt Fund.
  • 1937-62-8
  • Insect Cage
  • woven reed, gilded paper (dome); lacquered wood (base); paper, wire and....
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.
  • 1916-40-1-a/d

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (handle extended vertically): 12.4 x 8 x 6 cm (4 7/8 x 3 1/8 x 2 3/8 in.)

It is inscribed

Written on underside in graphite: "Florence, Italy / April 1903 / Cricket cage for Ascension Day"

Cite this object as

Cricket Cage (Italy); metal wire, stained wood; H x W x D (handle extended vertically): 12.4 x 8 x 6 cm (4 7/8 x 3 1/8 x 2 3/8 in.); Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt; 1916-40-7

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Virtue in Vice.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Cricket Cage (Italy) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 February 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>