Clay tea pets originated way back in Yixing during the Yuan dynasty, 13th century China. Tea pets are small clay figurines intended to accompany you on tea-drinking sojourns. Animal-shaped figures were first molded from extra pieces of clay. Once they were molded, a teapot artisan put the teapot, cups, and these “pets” together as a full tea set. Although not limited to animals, these tea pets are used during traditional Chinese tea ceremonies for various purposes; most often as decoration, but also used by tea drinkers for good luck.