Chinese Yixing teapot.

This teapot came in an Imari tea set I bought recently. It has proved to be a very interesting piece. At the auction I go to every month,  after the bidding for each piece is over the piece is brought to the back of the room and put in each bidders area by assistants. After bidding and winning I went back to see what I had bought since I hadn’t taken a close look, more reacted out of instinct. As I got back to my area I saw an Imari specialist reach out and take a look at the Yixing pot, flip it over and put it back. Very unusual for that auction. I jokingly asked him if I had picked up a treasure but he didn’t answer, just walked away.

I got involved in an email slugfest over the teapot, 90% of which I take the blame for. It has been a long time since someone has told me ‘I have been doing ….. since you were in diapers’ as I was told towards the end of the fun.

After initially putting it, along with the Imari set, on Ebay I started to research it. Jump then think, my motto. I found out through these pages from this site that it is a fine piece. There are many kanji in the ‘signature’ on the back. It seems that during the period it was made a lot of the makers couldn’t write so there was someone who would very lightly write the appropriate characters on the back and then the maker would trace over them with what ever to sign each piece. Because of this the signatures would vary from the same potter. There are a couple of kanji in the lid that are a “standards” mark.  水平. They mean that the piece is very well balanced.

I am amazed at the depth and amount of knowledge about anything. I am also amazed and humbled at how much I don’t know. Who would have thought this innocent piece would bring such excitement to my life.

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2 Responses to “Chinese Yixing teapot.”

  1. anon Says:

    Interesting. As far as I’ve been told 水平 (shui3ping2 lit: water level) refers to the fact that when the teapot body is filled to the brim, the water will be exactly level at the end of the spout, as opposed to a spout that is slightly higher or lower. Many gong-fu tea connoisseurs value this quality highly. In a good teapot, surface tension will even allow the water to bulge up a little past the edge of the spout and the body if it’s perfectly balanced. I wonder if this pot might also come from Taiwan.

    • togeii Says:

      Hello Anon,
      You are right according to the Japanese site I saw. It is a desirable quality. I am paraphrasing in when I say it is a ‘standards mark’. From what I read at the site I linked to it comes from China. I am not an expert in Chinese ceramics so am just going on what I have read. The estate it came from had top quality work. I will say it is a fine piece but has caused me more headaches than all the Japanese work I have handled combined.
      Your IP comes from Taiwan. I wonder if you are one of the wonderful people who I wrote about in the “slugfest”??

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