The Yixing Teapot – History And Customs

The Yixing pronounced (E-Shing) teapot was the first vessel designed specifically for brewing tea during the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644). The first Yixing teapots originated west of Taihu, the great lake in the Jiangsu province around 100 miles from Shanghai. They became a favourite of the Chinese intellectual class for their naturalism in both material and form. The distinctive reddish stoneware teapots came to be considered the best for brewing tea.

V.I.P Jiu 8 – The Imperial Craft Baijiu
V.I.P Jiu 8 – The Imperial Craft Baijiu

Pottery has been produced in Yixing since neolithic times. For the hills are filled with rich clay deposits and the centre of of pottery-making is located around the towns of Dingshan and Shushan where dragon jars, roof tiles and porcelain is also made. The term Yixing ware has become to mean the teapot.

Their are three clay’s of Yixing collectively known as zisha (purple sand) a purple brown clay, a buff-coloured clay and a deep orange-red clay.

The Yixing teapots are used for a variety of teas, but one must use the teapot for one kind of tea only as the teapot absorbs a tiny amount of the teas flavour during brewing and after long usage the pot will develop a coating that retains that flavour, and also the colour of the tea. For this reason soap should not be used to clean your Yixing teapot. Instead it should be rinsed with fresh water and allowed to air dry. Today the most expensive teapots are shaped by hand using wooden and bamboo tools to manipulate the clay, while the cheaper ones are produced by slip-casting.

Tea For Two

50ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
50ml of Cointreau
25ml of tequila
25ml of lemon juice
Ice cubes
Iced green tea
2 lemon wedges

Put V.I.P Jiu 8, Cointreau,tequila, lemon juice and 5 ice cubes in cocktail shaker, shake to mix and then strain into two high-ball glasses, add three ice cubes to each glass and top up with iced green tea, garnish with lemon wedge.

A very large rare late Ming yixing figure of Weituo Pusa.
A very large rare late Ming yixing figure of Weituo Pusa.

Chinese Antique Valuations And Appraisals

Do you own a piece of Chinese porcelain or an oriental work of art that you would like to know more about, such as age, history and value?

Then you should really consider using our Chinese Antique Valuation Service as the last thing you want to do is risk under selling the piece due to lack of knowledge or ill gotten advice.