Featured Image: Birdcage (China), ca. 1901; Made by Liang Qichang (dates unknown); bent buffalo horn (vertical bars), lacquered bamboo (horizontal hoops bracing bars), ivory, molded tortoiseshell (with substraight of silverleaf on vermillion on wood), cedar wood, various metals (brass, possibly paktong, white metal), jade, glazed porce; H x diam.: 86 x 39.4 cm (33 7/8 x 15 1/2 in.); Gift of Mrs. Herman Frasch; 1916-12-1-a/f Tortoiseshell, like horn, is a thermoplastic which can be shaped using heat, moisture, and pressure. Working the material was a laborious, costly process. Objects made from tortoiseshell were considered luxury goods. The simple cylindrical form of this birdcage is embellished with extravagant materials including form-fitting curved tortoiseshell veneer around the base, intricately carved ivory feet, and lavish accessories.

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