Monday, October 11, 2010

New Member of the Collection

This is a tea pot purchased from a local flea market. I did not expect to find a pot like this, somewhere like that.
Hidden in a back corner of a case cluttered with all sorts of other goods, a friend's eye caught a glimpse of this.

I presume it is yixing, perhaps cheaply made, but it only cost me about $4.00.
I figured it was not too much to lose.

The first thing about this pot one may notice is the speckles in the clay. Some are dark spots, others are shiny, and it is a bit of a rougher surface than some of my other yixings.
It is either not a pure yixing pot, or it is supposed to look like such. I am not a yixing expert by any means so please inform me if I am incorrect on the matter.

The pot is balanced nicely; it sits flat with the opening flush against the tea table.

I do not recognize artist marks.
Any clues..?

The opening looks like it was made in a rush with not a whole lot of effort put into it. I did not time the pour yet, but I believe it is about ten or eleven seconds and not too smooth.
Not too great, but I could deal with that. I just have to time my infusions to accommodate.

The pot on a whole looks rustic, but there are a few parts that I can tell have been hand-made or hand-edited, for lack of a better phrase.

The lid does not fit too snug, but it does not dribble when pouring so I do not find any complaints in that.

One of the surprising things about this pot was that it is almost perfectly balanced on water, more so than some of my other pots, which I do know to be true yixing.

For $4.00 I do not think this was a bad deal at all.
Any input or things to say about this pot from what you can see..?
Your contributions would be much appreciated!



  1. Wow flea market! This looks not bad at all. At $4 it's great! It's a little untraditional that the spout and handle are not at the same level. But it doesn't affect the function anyway. The clay looks pretty good from the photo. It has 18 holes? These many holes make me think probably the teapot is relatively old, made at a time when the yixing clay was averagely better than today's clay. But I don't have much knowledge in yixing clay. I suggest you to show your teapot at and it may induce some interestin gdiscussion there!

    Also if the flow is not smooth enough, something I did before is using a straightened pin to dredge the strainer holes. It worked well on a teapot of mine and I thought I could ask the producer for a partial refund on my labor :-p

  2. Well, for 4 dollars, I have to say it looks like a decent teapot.

    I wish I could decipher those characters. Let's get Gingko on the case!

    The spout almost looks like an looks as if it was added afterwards. The transition between the spout and body isn't smooth, if you see where I'm coming from.

  3. Gingko,

    What do you mean by averagely better? And how old do you think it is?
    I am curious to know about this teapot!


    Yeah if you look at the last picture in large form, you can see that it is not very smooth. Perhaps it was repaired...?
    It is all a mystery to me!
    I am looking for answers haha.

  4. Oh forgot to mention the chop. It's "China, Yixing", typically used on teapots made in state-owned factories.

    Yeah the spout looks like from another teapot. And the handle is not as tall as the spout and pot opening. But then the lid sits pretty well on the pot and the clay looks fine to me. Modern mass production teapots would have over all cheap making if the spout and handle are like these. But this teapot looks pretty good to me except for the spout and handle. So it's probably from one of the old yixing factories that were disbanded in 1990s. I've seen some 1970s factory teapots that are not as well made as studio teapots but better than this one. So I am guessing this is from 1980s or 1990s? But this is just guessing and I don't have the knowledge to make reasonable judgment. Some people can make a more precise judgment based on the clay texture, strainer style and the chop.

  5. I am not expert in tea pot but it looks like it is made of clay and I think you paid a good price for it.
    And it looks a lot like the pot pictured above.

  6. Gingko,

    If you wouldn't mind, I would love for you to explain more in detail about what the "Chop" is.
    And yes I agree with you on all other points concerning the teapot, about the handle and spout.


    Yes I thought it was a fairly good deal! Definitely worth it even if it is a fake! Haha.

  7. My guess on the speckles is open wood firing deposits.

  8. The chop I spoke of is the seal on the bottom of the teapot, with 4 characters. It's not name of a craftsman, but "China, Yixing", typically used in a state-owned factory instead of private studio. But there are some factory teapots bearing name seals too.

  9. Zero,

    That would make sense!


    Yes I realized what it was right when I finished that comment haha.
    But I did see that one of my other pots has the exact same chop. So I could assume it is a legitimate teapot in some respects.

  10. This is really cute and looks like a very good find for $4! I'm curious to hear about how it works for brewing.

  11. Alex,

    I am thinking of pairing it with Yancha. It seems fitting for the task, and yancha is hard to screw up as far as brewing goes! When I reorder some yancha I will post about my experiences with the new teapot!