Stone Lion Teapets

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440.00 Grams

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This pair of derpy-looking cats is actually a pair of derpy stone lions 石獅 Shí shī, like the ones commonly found guarding traditional Chinese buildings (sometimes these are called foo dogs - they are, in fact, lions). Like their architectural counterparts, they are similar to each other but different, each having a different expression - one features an open mouthed smile while the other grins blissfully behind their fangs. This pair are designed to flank a large tea service, but if you only want one, you can give the other to a friend - we don't have the heart to break up a family so we're only selling them as a pair. Pouring tea on them evokes strength, courage, royalty, and protection.

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.