Just wondering if anyone had any good websites or books to check the markings on a yixing teapot, or good ways to authenticate them. I purchased one in an antique shop and just wanted to know if I found a real one or not.
any advise would be great.
I’m not a yixing expert, but I recall there are a few things you can do to see if it’s a high quality yixing teapot.
- Knock/tap on the yixing pot to see if it gives off a metallic sound
- Check for artists marks and look for imperfections or fingerprints (that means that it was handmade)
- If you place your finger over the little hole on the lid the water should stop flowing immediately. Tried it myself on some high quality pots and sure enough it worked.
I can recognize simple characters from the seal, and like to collect seals that I can’t recognize so that I can ask around when I get hold of some calligrapher. So if you get a chance to take some photos, show them to us :D
These are awesome suggestions, I will try these things and get some pics of the seals, I have not tried knocking on it, but it does have fingerprints on the inside. I am trying not to get my hopes up but I found it in an antique store that usually has very nice items and purchased it for only $9. It also has 4 teabowls with it that are also marked. Either way real or not I feel I got a good buy. Keep the suggestions coming, all are appreciated!
I have been trying to find out all I can about a yixing tea set I have. May I send you pictures and my questions?
That is a good suggestion about tapping – you can tell how the clay has been fired by the sound. How does it feel? If it is well proportioned, has a good flow, has a nice, tight lid that’s a good sign. How does it smell? Since its probably been used, you might be picking up on a tea smell – but anything chemical or too strong clay-smelling might be a bad sign.
The seal and the shape can tell you a lot if you have some good resources. Whats on the inside? What color is it? Is it that typical beautiful red or is it darker? All those things can help.
Ricky’s suggestion about the finger prints was great – so its handmade – this is already exciting news! How smooth is the inside? A smoothness on the inside (and outside really) is a good sign for good workmanship.
How old do you think it may be? From what I know yixing clay mining was stopped in 2005 – there is still legit yixing clay out there on the market, but its very, very expensive. Depends on where you bought it too. That might help give you a bit of an idea though.
Hope this helps – stoneware is mind boggling! I hope you can post some pictures!
I think a safe bet with getting good yixing is to buy from a trustworthy source. It seems that yunnan sourcing has good pots.
I got a dragon kiln burt duan ni clay pot from them and am happy with it, though the flow rate could be faster.
the essence of tea has pots that are probably good since they seem to carry top end merchandise, but the prices are high end as well.
they have small pots which is nice.
the chinseteashop.com seems to specialize in good pots as well.