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Title

Tongue amulet of a cicada

Artists

Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    China
    Period
    Han dynasty 206 BCE - 220 CE → China
    Media category
    Jade
    Materials used
    greyish-white jade with stains of red pigment
    Dimensions
    4.4 x 1.8 x 0.8 cm
    Credit
    Gift of Mary and Henry Fung 2007
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    360.2007
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

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  • About

    Thought to prevent the entry of evil or destructive influences, jades have also served an important burial function. Particularly during the Han dynasty, jades in various forms were placed in the mouth, hands, ears, nostrils and other orifices of the deceased. Tongue amulets were typically made in the shape of a cicada, perhaps because the life cycle of the cicada was seen as symbolic of renewed life. This tongue amulet is however carved in a rare abstract form, only its shape is reminiscent of a cicada.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, December 2007.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    China

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition