Cricket cage

An ornate cricket cage

This cricket cage is part of a group from Italy and Japan given to the Museum by the Hewitt sisters, demonstrating their eccentric taste. There is a longstanding appreciation in Japan and Asia of singing insects, such as cicadas and crickets. The custom of visiting places known for the abundance and quality of singing insects has been a treasured seasonal pleasure in Japan, akin to the viewing of cherry blossoms. Among the most valued of crickets was the kirigirisu, esteemed for its rhythmic chirp and as a harbinger of frost.
Cricket cage, Hewitt sisters, Japan, 19th century