Journey to the West Tea Pet and Lid Rest Set

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368.00 Grams

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The Journey To the West is one of the most celebrated Chinese novels, detailing the legend of the Monkey King, Sun Wukong, as he aids the monk Tripitaka in his quest to retrieve the Sutras. Together with the pig demon Pigsy and the river demon Sha Seng, they make up the most classic and recognizable foursome in Chinese literature. Tripitaka is constantly harrassed on his journey by demons trying to achieve immortality by eating his flesh, which is holy. He is protected by Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, Zhu Baijie, and anthropomophic warrior pig, and She Seng, a man-eating river demon-turned-Buddhist-monk. 

This collection of cute, highly detailed caricatures of the four is made of Yixing red clay, and will patina beautifully with time. They have been designed to not only function as tea pets  but as lid rests - you can rest your teapot lid on top of them in between steepings so that it doesn't sit directly on the cha pan. 

While we sell them separately, it does seem like a shame to break up the band, so if you want to adopt them as a family you get four for the price of three. 

Tea Pets 茶寵 (Chá Chǒng) are small figurines, usually made of unglazed stoneware (such as the kind teapots are made from), in the shape of animals, people, gods, mythical beasts, plants, fungi - pretty much anything at all. Their sole purpose is to be a recipient of waste water and waste tea produced over the course of the tea service from heating and rinsing the wares and leaves. Over time, they develop a patina of tea oils the way that tea pots do. This process of "raising" as it is called allows them to develop a dark, shiny lustre, with each tea pet taking on its own look and personality over time with use. They also serve a votive function - the pouring of tea over the figure calls in the "spirit" of whatever that figure represents. A good tea pet looks best when in use - ie when enjoying a stream of hot tea being poured over it.