Rare Chinese Yixing Pottery Teapots, Vases and Scholar's Objects

<img src="ming yixing.jpg" alt="Rare Yixing Teapot of Ming Dynasty">
Massive 19th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot,
sold $45,000 by plcombs on EBAY

Yixing, Purple Clay For The Tea Drinker and Connoisseur


Among true tea aficionados around the world the only type of pot that should ever be used are ones made from clay found originally in the Yixing region of China. Also known as  Zisha  or "Purple Clay" .

The material was first discovered during the Ming Dynasty in the 14th Century.  Soon after the material was being made into a wide variety of vessels from bowls, to vases to plates. By the early 16th C. it's believed the first teapots were specifically made.

Today, Yixing wares are among the most popular of all Asian ceramics. They can be found in virtually every form imaginable but are overwhelmingly most commonly encountered as teapots.  Despite this, the varieties of pots seem to have no apparent limitation when it comes to form, size and decorative combinations. While most are under 6" or 7" tall, on occasion they can be encountered in much larger sizes as seen above. Its a whopping 11" tall, though it might not sound all that unusual, it is. So we thought it would be fun to share a few of the rare Chinese Yixing pottery teapots, Vases and Scholar's Objects which have crossed our threshold in the past.

The unique characteristics of the clay itself when fired results in an ideally suited environment for making tea. The resulting material is highly insulative allowing it to retain heat, essential to brewing. The clay is also naturally quite porous resulting the in the clay being able to absorb naturally the oils released during the brewing process. This resulting "seasoning" of the pot's interior improves the flavor year after year.

Its important however as a general rule to only use one type of tea per pot. Most fans of Yixing prefer to "season" their pots before using for the first time by placing a new pot in boiling water with a cup full of used tea leaves and let it simmer for half an hour.
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A 5,000 Percent Spike In Prices in 20 Years

Interestingly for decades these types of tea wares could be found in antique shops throughout here in New England by the dozens for under $25 each up until the 1990's. Many were brought over between 1880 and the 1930's as curiosity's and used as inexpensive shelf pieces and decorations. Today, they have all been bought up pretty much, and are now cherished and appreciated for what they are, which has caused a huge leap in prices of anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 % in the last 20 years. In some cases even more.

RARE, Yixing Lined Chinese Pewter Teapots

Below you'll notice a number of pewter teapots, many with incised inscriptions or landscape scenes or both. Some, like regular pure Yixing examples have very interesting shapes. Whats most interesting about these is that they have been  neatly fitted Yixing liners, while pewter has always been a popular metal in China it is not an ideal environment in which to "steep" tea. When you encounter these check the interior for a potter's stamp, usually found (if present) straight down on the bottom.

If you should decide to start collecting them, get out your wallet, they typically range in price anywhere from $1,500 to $7,000 each. Also be patient, they do not turn up very often, less than 2% of all pewter pots have Yixing liners. When you find one,  carefully check the liner for damage, they are often cracked which can radically affect value.

What Kind of Yixing Pot is Right For You?


To learn more about picking a pot for your own use and enjoyment visit YeYong Tea website...Its an  interesting site with  lots of good information. You can also visit YouTube and type in "Rare Yixing Teapot"..their are some excellent video's there from China. Below is just one of many...its quite good!



A Yixing Zisha Collection


During the last eight months I've had the pleasure of getting to know a family who inherited a large collection of Chinese porcelains numbering in the thousands of pieces. Most of which has been in storage for decades and we are now in the process of selling this collection for them over the next year of so. One piece at a time.

Within this collection is a vast number of Yixing items. Ranging from teapots to vases, ink wells, tea caddies, bowls and rare pewter clad Yixing pots with inscriptions. As a consequence I thought it might be useful to post a few examples found within the collection. Many more will appear in the months ahead.

We do hope collectors and folks interested in these unique items will enjoy the images presented here and will add to their knowledge.

NOTE: Below is an array of some the examples (out of hundreds) we've had the pleasure of handling...email us with any questions or comments. If you have any porcelains you would like to sell or have appraised we would be happy to hear from you.

Feel free to share this post with your friends.  
Rare Chinese Yixing Pottery Teapots, Vases and Scholar's Objects


Rare Chinese Yixing Pottery Teapots, Vases and Scholar's Objects
Detail, 19th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot, (see above)

<img src="ming yixing.jpg" alt="Rare Yixing Teapot of Ming Dynasty">

19th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot, (see above)


Lid Detail, 19th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot, (see above)


<img src="Qing yixing.jpg" alt="Yixing lined Pewter Teapot">
19th C.  Chinese Yixing Lined Pewter Inscribed Teapot,


<img src="Qing yixing.jpg" alt="Yixing lined Pewter Teapot interior">

<img src="Qing yixing.jpg" alt="Yixing inscribed Teapot">
19th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot,

<img src="Qing yixing.jpg" alt="Yixing inscribed Teapot">

<img src="Qing yixing.jpg" alt="Yixing signature Teapot">

<img src="Qing yixing.jpg" alt="Yixing Potter mark Teapot">

<img src="Qing yixing Bowl.jpg" alt="Flambe Glazed Yixing Bowl">

20th C. Chinese Flambe Glazed Yixing Bowl


<img src="Qing yixing Bowl.jpg" alt="Flambe Glazed Yixing Bowl">

19th C.  Chinese Yixing Teapot,



19th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot,




Chinese Yixing Enamel Bulb Tray, late 19th C.


Chinese Yixing Enamel Bulb Tray, late 19th C.



20th C. Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot and cups, Naturalistic form


19th C.  Chinese Yixing Teapot,




Chinese Yixing Enamel Teapot, late 19th C.





Chinese Yixing Enamel Teapot, late 19th C.





20th C.  Chinese Yixing vase


Chinese Yixing Enamel Teapot, late 19th C.





19th C.  Chinese Yixing  Double Chamber Teapot,




Chinese Yixing Enamel Teapot, 20th C. 




19th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot,

19th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot,



Root From 20th C.  Chinese Yixing Inscribed Teapot,



20th C.  Chinese Yixing Teapot,



Chinese Yixing Enamel Teapot, late 19th C.




Chinese Yixing Enamel Teapot, late 19th C.




Chinese Yixing Lined Pewter Teapot, late 19th C.



detail, Interior Seal. 

Chinese Yixing Inscribed Ink Well, late 19th C.



Chinese Yixing  Enamel Teapot,  19th C.




Chinese Yixing Snail Form Water Dropper late 19th C.



Chinese Yixing Teapot, Inscribed, late 19th C.





Chinese Yixing Enamel Teapot, late 19th C.




Chinese Yixing Lined Pewter Teapot,  19th C.




Chinese Yixing Teapot, late 19th C.


Chinese Yixing Tea Pot, late 19th C. 




Chinese Yixing Famille Rose Enamel Teapot, 19th C. 


Chinese Yixing Lotus Form Teapot, 19th C. 





Chinese Yixing Famille Rose Tea Jar, 19th C. 



Chinese Yixing Ink Pot with Chimera



Chinese Yixing Covered Tea Caddy, late 19th C. 


Chinese Yixing Tea Caddies, early 19th C. Pewter Lids



Chinese Yixing Enameled and Inscribed Teapot, 19th C. 



Chinese Yixing Naturalistic Root Form Vase


Chinese  Yixing Lined Pewter Teapot, Jade Handle and Spout, 19th C.


Chinese  Yixing Lined Pewter Teapot, Jade Handle and Spout, 19th C. 


Chinese  Yixing Lined Pewter Teapot, Jade Handle and Spout, 19th C. 





Chinese  Yixing Teapot, with blue enamels and 

famille rose decorations and inscriptions




Chinese  Yixing Lined Pewter Teapot with Jade Handles




Chinese  Yixing Inscribed Vases




Chinese  Yixing Teapot, 

with enamel decoration and inscription. 19th C. 




Chinese  Yixing Teapot , 18th to 19th C. 



Chinese Yixing Zhadow with blue enamels, 19th C. 



Chinese Yixing Food Box, Inscribed Decoration
with ceramic liner.



Chinese Pewter Teapot  with Yixing Liner, Inscribed Poem
and Jade Handles


Interior detail: Chinese Pewter Teapot  with Yixing Liner,
Inscribed Poem and Jade Handles

Chinese Yixing Ink Pots, With Nut Appliques

Chinese Yixing Teapot, Bamboo Handles and Spout


Chinese Yixing Teapot, Bamboo Handles and Spout


Fine Chinese Yixing Teapot, Lotus Form



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