if looks could kill: a 17th century chinese porcelain night light

Recently a client asked me about the oddest little porcelain piece she had ever seen.  She wanted to gift it to her infant daughter.

The object of desire was a sweet Chinese-export porcelain cat “night light” like the ones photographed here.  Made in China during the Kangxi period (1662 – 1722) the story goes that these porcelain cats were made to keep mice and rats away.  Imagine the menacing glaring glow of the figurine’s eyes once you drop a candle inside.  Petrifying!!!

Buying one of these is a minor investment and certainly not in the price realm of a Disney princess nightlight … but it’s something that can be treasured and will look just as beautiful 30 years from now when it’s sitting on a bookshelf in the daughter’s library, or indeed, maybe even protecting her own child’s nighttime slumbers.

image credits (top to bottom): Sotheby’s; Christie’s
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