Cicada-Shaped Mouthpiece

Object Name: 
Cicada-Shaped Mouthpiece

What is AAT?

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (r) is a structured vocabulary for generic concepts related to art and architecture. It was developed by The Getty Research Institute to help research institutions become consistent in the terminology they use.Learn More

Object Name: 
Cicada-Shaped Mouthpiece
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
51.6.558
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 5.3 cm, W: 3 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
206 BC-220 AD
Web Description: 
Cicadas made from jade or glass were placed on the mouth of the corpse for burial during the Han Dynasty. Cicadas symbolize rebirth because they are resurrected every 13 or 17 years. Other openings on the body were also covered or plugged in order to protect the body from corruption.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Gump, R. B., Source
1951-04-04
Category: 
Primary Description: 
Cicada-Shaped Mouthpiece. Opaque white glass with tan patina, traces of red outlines; fashioned in stylized form of a flat cicada.
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 1) (1999) pp. 150, 250; BIB# 61154
Stained Glass: Jewels of Light (1988) illustrated, p. 15; BIB# 59584