|A dedicated cupboard for the pots.|
There are two things that are abundant in my house and things that I won’t hesitate to pay for no matter what the price is. They are books and purple clay teapots. The interest to collect purple clay teapots came in 2006 when I decided to learn more about Chinese tea and hence teapots and cups. Besides the best tea leaves, the right teapots are very important to get the best taste out of the tea.
Purple clay teapots are only found and made in Yixing, China. Anything that comes from other places is considered fake “purple clays”. Of course throughout my six years of collecting them, I have found many types of them and had also paid some “tuition fees”.
To select a teapot, one must first determine the maker of the pot. There are big name masters, up and coming masters, apprentices and also those that specialize in making counterfeit teapots of famous masters. My most prized collection is by the famous master Gu Zhingzhou.
Next, the type of purple clay is also important. One must also know how to see pure purple clay, mixed ones and normal clay. Then, finally, it is the shapes of the teapots that one fancy. My experience as a collector shows that one tends to buy the cheaper ones made by some makers that are not famous at all first. Then, one will slowly move to those make by up and coming masters and finally, those made by the masters. Some serious collectors will even move to collect old purple clay teapots or those made by the masters whom had long passed away.
Another thing about buying a purple clay teapot is to find an honest and reliable shop. I usually sourced mine directly from Yixing, from Lu Yu Teashop in Shanghai and in Malaysia,they are Chanoyu and Legend of Tea. I have also collected a few pieces from some shops in Malaysia, which I am not going to name, and they turned out to be counterfeit ones.
Throughout the years, I am proud to say that I am one of the few private collectors in Malaysia with more than 1000 teapots of various shapes. My dream one day is to collect enough pots to start a private Yixing purple clay teapot museum.
|Some of my favourite pots.|
|Pots of various designs.|
|My tea tray at home.|