Cicada-Shaped Mouthpiece

Object Name: 
Cicada-Shaped Mouthpiece

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Object Name: 
Cicada-Shaped Mouthpiece
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
51.6.558
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 5.3 cm, W: 3 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
206 BCE-220 CE
Web Description: 
仿玉玻璃晗 Cicadas made from jade or glass were placed on the mouth of the corpse for burial during the Han Dynasty. Glass was used as a substitute for jade. 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: 
Technique: 
Material: 
Primary Description: 
Cicada-Shaped Mouthpiece. Opaque white glass with tan patina, traces of red outlines; cast, carved. Fashioned in stylized form of a flat cicada.
Objects in Focus (2018) illustrated, p. 18 (bottom); BIB# 714738
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 1) (1999) pp. 150, 250; BIB# 61154
Stained Glass: Jewels of Light (1988) illustrated, p. 15; BIB# 59584