Teapots from Yixing

27 Mar

I think by now you will all know that my main interests lie with anything to do with archaeology and ancient times, mainly pottery  Therefor it will come as no surprise  that I also like collecting certain antique items, one of which are the beautiful Yixing teapots, of which I only ever managed to obtain two to add to my collection of teapots.

Chinese Yixing Teapot with looped handlec 1900

Yixing Ware Teapot with looped handle c 1900


Archaeology reveals that as early as the Song Dynasty (l0th century) potters near Yixing were using local ” Zisha”  (purple sand/clay) to make utensils that may have functioned as teapots.


According to the ‘ Ming dynasty ‘  Zhou Gaoqi , during the reign of Zhengde Emperor, a monk from Jinsha Temple (Golden Sand Temple) in Yixing handcrafted a fine quality teapot from local clay, such teapots soon became popular and the fame of Yixing teapots quickly spread.

These wares are valued for their fine texture, thin walls and naturally beautiful color, ranging from light buff to deep maroon to purple tones. The clay consists of quartz, kaolin, mica and iron oxide and it is the iron oxide which gives the reddish color of the clay.Yixing teapots can be simple and elegant or exotic and elaborate

Teapots from the Ming dynasty tend to be very simple and elegant whereas the Qing dynasty (l644-19ll ) brought a higher level of decoration of the Yixing teapots. and the artists began to create pots with painting, inlaid with gold and silver.

Chines Decorated Teapot  cl720 Qing Dynasty

Qing dynasty Teapot and cover c 1720

Yixing Teapot (Ming Dynasty)

KangXi an early Emperor in the dynasty liked colored enamel  pots which were more formal than those of today. All the pots that entered the palace could only have the seal of the Emperors  reign and not the artists shop. During his reign China began exporting these beautiful purple teapots to Europe along with the Chinese tea.

Packing Tea into wooden chests. 19th century

Packing tea into wooden chests for export

Porters lugging tea chests on carrying poles to the shipper.

Porters lugging tea chests on carrying poles to the shipper 19th century.


Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized


16 responses to “Teapots from Yixing

  1. Trapper Gale

    March 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I’m struck by the detailed craftmanship displayed by each example. They are quite beautiful, aren’t they?


  2. ritaroberts

    March 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Yes ! they are a very special type of pottery and hold a fascination for many teapot collectors. Thanks for reading and your nice comment.


  3. dianabuja

    March 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Really lovely blog, Rita. The pots are gorgeous.


  4. dorannrule

    March 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I can see why you wish to collect them Rita! They are exquisite!


    • ritaroberts

      March 28, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Yes Dora ! I love these particular teapots but they are too expensive to buy now. Thanks for the nice comment.


  5. Ancientfoods

    March 28, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Reblogged this on Ancientfoods and commented:
    A post about tea and ancient teapots, I couldn’t resist!
    Thanks Rita for the post!


    • ritaroberts

      March 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you for the re blog and nice comment. So pleased you enjoyed this post.


      • Ancientfoods

        March 29, 2014 at 7:43 pm

        Thank you as well.


  6. squirrelbasket

    March 30, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Lovely post and great images. I wonder if the spouts dripped? I have never yet found a perfect teapot where the spout doesn’t drip and the lid doesn’t fall off!
    All the best 🙂


  7. ritaroberts

    March 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for reading Pat also your nice comment. With regard to spout drips I find that it depends how far one tips up the teapot when pouring and I always hold the lid anyway but thanks for bringing that to my notice I will check it out.


  8. Nomzi Kumalo

    April 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Makes me long to make a teapot myself. I love that purple teapot. 🙂


    • ritaroberts

      April 4, 2014 at 7:30 am

      Thanks for you nice comment Nomzi Yes I love these teapots myself wish I could afford to buy these nowadays but they are hard to come by and very expensive.


      • Nomzi Kumalo

        April 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

        Hello Rita. You are most welcome. I can only imagine those prices. It means that I will simply have to make one. Have a lovely weekend. 🙂


  9. ritaroberts

    April 4, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Are you a potter then Nomzi, do you produce pottery or is it a hobby ?


  10. ritaroberts

    June 9, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Reblogged this on Ritaroberts's Blog.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: