H. 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm); W. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm); D. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
Purchase, Gift of Elizabeth V. Cockcroft, Bequest of Florance Waterbury, in memory of her father, John I. Waterbury, and Gift of Robert H. Ellsworth, by exchange, 2008
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 219
The tale of Zhong Kui quelling demons can be traced to the Tang dynasty (618–907) when the Emperor Minghuang (r. 712–756) was purportedly cured of an illness after dreaming about a large ghost eating demons. In this complicated groups of figures, carefully carved into the natural shape of the bamboo, Zhong Kui is shown seated on the back of a recumbent demon, while another demon offers him a cup of wine.