Purple Clay teapot

Introduction to 1980-1984 Purple Clay Teapots
The unrevealed secrets

During the years from 1980 to 1984, following the requests from overseas clients, the Yixing Purple Clay Factories produced a batch of refined little teapots for export purposes only. This batch of teapots was applied with the best pure purple clay and was crafted by top potters in the factories under the direction of Gao Haigeng. Those potters were: Wang Yinxian (who was promoted to Craft Master in 1982, and whose plum series of teapots received First Prize at the Best New Products of Jiangsu Competition and received large orders for export in 1983), Lu Raochen, Tan Quanhai, Lee Changhong, He Daohong, Gu Shaopei, Zhou Guizhen, Pan Chiping, Shen Juhua, Xie Manlun, Su Fengying, Zhang Honghua, Wang Shigeng, Shen Hansheng, Ge Taozhong, Jiang Jianxiang, Chen Guoliang, Wu Qinxiang, Ji Yishun, He Tingchu, Wu Yayi, Wu Yaping, Cao Yalin, Ge Minxian, and Zhou Dinghua.

Twenty years later those potters have turned out to be the experts and masters in pottery who received high respect from the purple clay industry. Gao Haigeng is regarded as one of the remarkable masters although he passed his way in his productive age. Wang Yinxian, Lu Raochen and Tan Quanhai are now well-known as the Great Master in China’s Arts and Crafts (so-called “Zhongguo Gongyi Meishu Dashi”, the highest accolade given to artists in China), and Lee Changhong, He Daohong, Gu Shaopei, Zhou Guizhen, Pan Chiping, Shen Juhua, Xie Manlun, Su Fengying, Zhang Honghua, Wang Shigeng, Shen Hansheng, Ge Taozhong, Jiang Jianxiang, Chen Guoliang, Wu Qinxiang, Ji Yishun, Zhou Dinghua have been promoted to Senior Craft Master. As a result, those little teapots made from 1980 to 1984 by them are now called as “Mingjia Zaoqi teapots” (Early Master teapots).

Nowadays, these “Mingjia Zaoqi teapots” are highly appreciated by pottery collectors worldwide, which makes them precious and valuable. Some indecent traders make inappropriate high profits by producing and selling spurious counterfeits to these “Mingjia Zaoqi teapots”. Yet the faked is always faked and the genuine is always genuine. Counterfeits will not last long, and authentic works will sustain history.

We are professional purple clay teapot collectors and merchant. We have collected a few precious “Mingjia Zaoqi teapots” directly from some well-known teapot collectors during these years. And now, under the business principle of honesty and trust, we are glad to present these genuine and precious teapots to the world and greatly greet every colleague, friends, experts, and teapot lovers to appraise, appreciate, purchase and collect these “Mingjia Zaoqi teapots” from us.


Features of “1980-1984 teapots”

– The material is the best and precious. The soil used for these teapots is pure purple soil ( so-called “Di Cao Qing” in Chinese) which is the best and precious soil available at that time and is rare for the time being. The color of the clay is smooth and elegant, earthy, and stable. The product is like wool: thick, snug, neat, pure, classic, and luminous as a piece of antique jade.

– The artistry is refined and elegant. All these teapots show a fine articulation of lines and proportions, which presents the skillful technique of the potters. Every detail on these teapots is impressive, which shows the heart and soul of the potters. Some of the works are fine copies of ancient and traditional arts, yet some of them are creative and contemporary masterpieces with distinguished design.

– The shapes and forms are rich and varied. The design of shapes and forms for these teapots are guided by great masters like Gu Jingzhou and Gao Haigeng, which fully represent that saying in pottery industry that “roundness is not in the only substance, and square-ness is not in the only form” ( so-called “yuan fei yi xiang, fang fei yi shi” in Chinese). Although these teapots are small in size, their energy and rhythm is vivid and original, and their spirit and form are touching and moving. Hundreds of shapes and forms have been applied to these teapots, such as bamboo shape, plum shape, pine shape, Eggplant shape, Stone Weight, Dong Po Handle, Duo Qiu, Yu Jia Le, Yongle, Double fishes, and one ball, Tian Long Ding Qiu, etc. Some of these shapes and forms were used and perfected by the potters in later years, which turned out as their famous and representative works, such as Double Fishes and One Ball teapot by He Tingchu, Tian Long Ding Qiu teapot By Gu Shaopei, Panda teapot by Lu Raochen, Square and Round teapot by Su Fengying, Morning teapot by Ge Mingxian, Da Ji Da Li teapot by Zhou Jianhua, Ancient Mirror teapot by Lee Hongchang, and the plum teapot series by Wang Yinxian. (For information about the famous and representative works by potters, please refer to books such as Appreciation of Chinese Dark-red Pottery, Appreciation of Chinese Famous Purple Clay Teapots, and Contemporary Purple Clay Elites.)

– The decoration is elegant and valuable. Some of these teapots are decorated with drawings and calligraphies of Tan Quanhai, Mao Guoqiang, and Shen Hansheng. The calligraphies cover all styles like Xingshu, Caoshu, Lishu, and Kaishu, and the drawings are legendary and pretty.

– Forgery is impossible. The remark of the potter for these teapots inherits the style of teapots made during the Culture Revolution period. That is——- the name of potter is only shown inside the lid of the teapot with a little wooden stamp, and the bottom is only marked with “Yixing China”. Although the remark is simple, yet with the other four features listed above, forgery to these teapots is extremely difficult and is very easily identified.

In a word, this batch of teapots made during 1980-1984 is a teapot with the best material, the elegant shapes, the refined artistry, the nice forms, and the fine functionality. As a result, they would become more and more precious in the future and become the treasure of the collectors.