Ludwig-1954 wrote:When was the first documented use of what we would call a gaiwan today to prepare tea?
When was the three part Gaiwan (matching lid, cup and saucer introduced)? I propose the question because I have seen significantly more antique gaiwans lacking a saucer than gaiwans lacking a lid. This led
me to presume, that perhaps earlier Gaiwans were not produced with
Early gaiwans seem to be larger and simpler in shape than more modern ones. When and where was the outward curled rim so typical for new gaiwans first introduced?
When was the use of gaiwans as gong-fu cha brewing instruments introduced? I seem to recall that gaiwans were mainly (exclusively?) used for "grandpa style" tea consumption or just as lidded teacups in the 80's and early 90's (comparable to the use of lidded mugs at meetings and conferences in China today).
Thank you for any information you can spare. Perhaps some of you have
the possibility to ask older generation chinese people on the issues.
Hello Patrick. I will try to answer these to the best of my ability. I have been asking the same questions for years, so I have a few answers.
From what I have been able to find, the gaiwan, as we know it today was first used in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
As for the three-part gaiwans, I am not really sure. I know in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the daughter of an official, Cui Ning, did not like teacups because they burned her hands, so she came up with a wooden saucer, very much like the ones still used in the Japanese tea ceremony for important people. That is the earliest known example of a tea saucer in China. As for the porcelain gaiwans, I am not sure. I have heard that during the Ming and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, they did not come with saucers, but people would buy them seperately, made of pewter. Some of the older gaiwans I have, have really deep feet, so that might be too keep burning the hands when using without a saucer, but I do not know. I have asked a lot of people and heard a lot of stories, but have not received a difinitive answer to this. I wish I knew!
It was in the 90's when gaiwans started to become small and used as teapots, something I do not like, but that is another issue.
This is all the information I know. If anybody has anything to add, I would really love to know myself.