First of all, happy year of the rooster to everyone!
This pot has a bit of a weird clay – looks great, but it has this really hollow sound which makes me think it’s got a crack, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s just a more hollow sounding clay, I suppose, but I am hesitant to use it. The line at the bottom of the pot says “When the moon is in the middle of the sky it’s especially bright” and the name Mengchen. 170ml.
Boxes are sometimes an attraction unto themselves, especially if they come with a little cloth bag for the pot. The box says “Yixing kiln – black clay teapot”. 110ml.
Yes, this is the third so far I’ve posted with the same wooden chop “gongju”. After you see enough of these you start to get a sense of the different makers’ styles. Gongju wooden stamped ones like these tend to have a thin spout relative to the body, with an angled cut at the tip of the spout, and thin handles. The lip on the lid is short. They often pour a bit slow because of the smaller spout, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your needs. 160ml.
At what point does an item get past the level of wabi sabi and into the territory of just really badly made/damaged? You decide. 115ml.
This pot’s clay is weirdly spotted. Mark is Wu Desheng zhi, with Wu Desheng being an outfit during the Republican period that made pots. 165ml.
Not all yixing pots were used for tea brewing, or at least that’s the way it seems sometimes. In things like senchado sometimes they were used for water cooling/pouring rather than tea making. It’s not always clear to me why one is designated as water dropper rather than teapot. When there’s a pair sometimes one gets assigned one job and the other the job of tea making. In any case, this pot is called “zini suichu” which literally means purple clay water dropper. 145ml.
This kind of pot some call “starry sky” with the little yellow dots of sand. The mark under the lid is “hen” which literally means “mark” but sort of like a mark left by a knife. 75ml.
This is one of those pots with no marks. I like these a lot. 95ml.
The writing on the bottom of this pot is Yigong, another name that is commonly seen for this sort of pot. Notice little details like how the inner surface of the handle is flat – this makes holding the pot slightly easier than if it’s round all the way. 195ml.
This pot is one of the ones I use most heavily. I got this for a song because its handle was glued back on, but the gluing job was obviously very well done and there’s been no problem. The lion is quite detailed. The pot is stamped “tiehuaxuan zhi”. Tiehuaxuan is the name of a company during the Republican period making yixing pots, specializing especially in smaller pots (lion or shuiping) that have calligraphy and carving on them, like this one. They also make whole sets including pitchers and cups, but those get expensive. The seal under the lid is “Jiangji” referring, probably, to the maker Jiang Anqing who is known for making lion pots. 115ml.