Prowling Tiger Tea Pet

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131.60 Grams

Out of stock

A charming, chunky tiger tea pet with a dynamic, painted-looking face. Its boldly-painted eyes have an enigmatic and striking expression. A toothy grin and the Chinese character 王 "king" on its forehead complete the look. We are especially fond of this tea pet's detailed fur texture and round physique. It almost seems to be creeping across the tea table, keeping a low profile ready to pounce. The lined surface will cause the fur to show as the piece develops a patina with use. 

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.