Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby brandon » Sep 24th, '12, 08:05

There is nothing negative to say about the pots at this time... There were once issues with extreme levels of staining by unknown substance, hopefully tea bath. Now, the pots are extremely well cleaned. The craftsmanship and clay in the few samples I've seen are better than pots going for similar or higher prices from Chinese vendors on Ebay. Far better than Western shops adding another level of markup and insured shipping costs to their own shops. So, if the price and product are reasonable, what we have left is the false age in the listings. Everyone here knows these are reproductions and not the genuine article. If you want to spend $1000 or more chasing Qing teapots, I wish you well and hope you are well armed with information - plenty of fakes at that price point. But at $109, I would not discourage anyone from buying the OP pot if he really loved it and did not have a false impression of the collector value. Just like he should spend his $109 on a "fake" Menghai tea cake for his own enjoyment if it tasted good and nothing else seemed off about it. Putting words in the OP's mouth a bit, but I do not think he was looking for an heirloom piece.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 24th, '12, 08:21

Chip wrote:... and yet as I mentioned in another similarly themed topic, this seller has a 100% positive feedback rating.

Doesn't anybody ever give negative feedback???


Well, i guess than anybody with a slightly more serious interest in Yixing will anyhow just take one look and stay away from this seller. And just buying a pot in order to give a negative feedback? Nah, i have better things to do with my life, and spend my money on tea instead. I am not the internet police... :wink:

Buying tea pots, and especially vintage pots from the 70's and earlier over the net, and especially on ebay, is anyhow a more than risky affair. Nowadays i would not even dare to buy in a real shop here in Asia without an expert in tow who can advise me.

My advise to anyone who wants to buy a Yixing pot is to buy a new pot to use that is not too costly (meaning: normal clay, no supposed master pot, just a normal pot for everyday use), and wait until the opportunity arises to go to Asia and get help from someone who does know his stuff. All the web discussions on different clays etc cannot replace the years of experience in touching and testing thousands of different pots, which makes an expert.
I do not want to come across as an expert here, by the way - because i clearly am not one, far from it.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 24th, '12, 08:28

brandon wrote: what we have left is the false age in the listings.



Which is usually defined as fraud.

I am afraid that this sellers pots appear better than other pots offered on ebay does not really say much about the quality of pots offered. It says more about that anyone wanting to buy a Yixing pot should stay away from ebay and try to shop somewhere else.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby jayinhk » Sep 24th, '12, 08:29

The fake Yixing thing is definitely a serious, serious issue: I saw some terrible looking 'Yixings' for around $4 US a piece today. I didn't even bother picking them up for a closer look. I did, however, buy a small stainless steel soy sauce pot that should make a great travel tea pot. The price was right at around $1.90 US!
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby brandon » Sep 24th, '12, 08:54

You are not offering any real alternative here - you won't shop in Asia without an "expert" accomplice, nor Chinese online sellers. I'd bet not US based sellers, because they usually don't have anything like expert level knowledge of what they are selling, and probably got taken by the same kind of fraud (stories) along the way. The nice thing about tea is, you get to pick the exact level of fraud you feel comfortable with. Ignoring a line of text that says "Qing dynasty" on a reproduction pot that is above average leaves me sleeping pretty well. If you're unwilling to risk $100 on a teapot, no need to infect others with Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. At the end of the day, its a thing with a lid that you put tea and hot water into.

Tea in China is filled with boasting and inflated claims. If you aren't willing to swim in these waters, you will be left empty handed.

In the meantime, I am going to go smash all of my 20th century pots marked Mengchen Zhi to stay consistent with my abhorrence of fraud. A clear misrepresentation.

Jay, there is a difference between "Yixing" pots that are low fired muddy rubbish and reproduction pots not being accurately marked as such.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 24th, '12, 09:45

brandon wrote:You are not offering any real alternative here - you won't shop in Asia without an "expert" accomplice, nor Chinese online sellers. I'd bet not US based sellers, because they usually don't have anything like expert level knowledge of what they are selling, and probably got taken by the same kind of fraud (stories) along the way.


I have said that i won't shop here for vintage or antique pots without expert advice. But i would have no problems to buy a new pot sold as such from a reputable teashop. Such new pots are much better than anything that this ebay seller offers, and go for a lot less as well.

I can't really give any advice on which internet Yixing sellers to shop in as i don't really look at Yixing pots on the net. From what i understand, and again - i am not an expert, i think that Houde sells real pots, but the prices are what you have to pay for such pots. I do not know about the less costly pots on the net.

I don't think that one needs to swim the waters of boasting and inflated claims. I am aware that much of that is around, but i do stay away from that sort of rubbish. I do not accept fraud and stay away from it. Maybe you should spend some time in Asia's tea drinking centers, places such as KL, Taiwan, or Hongkong (these places are more accessible than China itself). While there is much fraud in the tea world, there are also many people genuinely interested in helping others along the way.

There is a difference between reproduction and fake, by the way. reproductions have been done all along, and are often of very high quality, and can cost a lot, especially when they are republican period reproductions of Qing pieces. Fakes are rubbish, and that is all you get from this and all other ebay vendors of Yixing ware i have seen so far.

I am sorry, but that is how i feel.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby the_economist » Sep 24th, '12, 11:34

I have no problems buying a fairly priced new pot which is decent from a vendor who ignorantly or even deliberately makes stupid/false claims about his/her pots. As long as the pot is fine, I don't care.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby ethan » Sep 24th, '12, 18:57

I thank you all for an interesting & amusing thread. The differences in people's decision-making in general seem to be as important as their knowledge of pots & the cost of pots, etc. Mixing info about pots & vendors w/ discussion of philosophy of who to trust, when to buy, etc. is a challenge... but you do it well.
How much better can tea taste that is made in a superior pot of a type ideal for using w/ a particular tea? For those that notice great differences, is it the pots, or, is the development of their palates, or both? I don't know. I do know that these pots seem quite important to you. Now I'm mostly concerned w/ which teas will suit me. I hope I don't need a shelf of teapots to enjoy tea almost to the maximum.
From an Oregon, USA vendor I bought inexpensive Yixing. My 2 pots may be only "good" or only "fair" or "low-fired rubbish"; but I do enjoy using them. I believe that one dedicated to Pu Er takes some of the edge off harsh tea, & the pots don't dribble. That's good enough until I win a lottery.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby wyardley » Sep 24th, '12, 21:02

Was trying to find this thread over the weekend, but it wasn't loading. Check out this video, around 23:40
http://english.cntv.cn/program/storyboa ... 6785.shtml

It's about Gu Shaopei (one of the master craftspeople who was at the AMOCA demo I went to a while back). He made what is supposedly the world's biggest and smallest gong chun pots. They show him making one, and discussing the way he interpreted the style.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 24th, '12, 21:36

ethan wrote: How much better can tea taste that is made in a superior pot of a type ideal for using w/ a particular tea? For those that notice great differences, is it the pots, or, is the development of their palates, or both? I don't know.


There are many factors involved, it is about developing your palate, it is also about the pot, and of course development in skill. The best pot won't be of much use if your skills or palate hasn't been developed.
My tea teacher always, when i see him, sits me me down and helps me in that. In terms of pots - he lines up different pots, and shows me the difference in these pots, and how the experience of tea changes with each pot. He has a fabulous collection of pots - Qing pots, even one or the other Ming pot. He does the same with other equipment, such as with different teacups, or vessels to boil water in.
That doesn't mean though that tea won't be enjoyable in your cheap pots - on the opposite: it is all about enjoyment.

But it also is about development in skills, and part of that is learning about the equipment. This is not easy without the help of a teacher, and/or a round of people that are interested in tea. In that sense pots will become important.
This of course is quite difficult when one is living far from places where very knowledgeable tea people life. How could one know the difference an older pot makes compared to a new pot when one never had the opportunity to to drink from one?

And that is the problem i have with such vendors as the one in discussion here. He plays on exactly that lack of opportunity access tea lovers in Europe or in the US have. The pots he sells are extremely questionable cheap rubbish. There are new pots that are perfectly OK to make a very nice pot of tea. You can go to any good teashop in places such as KL, Hongkong or Taiwan and see them for sale. But those he sells are not of that category. If he would be honest he would try to make OK new pots accessible to tea lovers from the West, instead of overpriced cheap imitations of what are not reproductions of older pots.

I have no idea what sort of pots are sold in teashops in the west, i am too rarely in Europe. I only know one teashop in my my hometown there, and they sell some not too bad newer pots for less than what this ebay vendor asks for his pots.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby debunix » Sep 24th, '12, 21:40

Dang, it started, ran about 1 minute, and stopped.

I'm on a solid high speed connection, but it just said 'loading' for a very long time.

Looks very promising.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby ethan » Sep 25th, '12, 06:17

Redbaron, That's helpful. Sounds like mastery of pots, cups, etc. adds to enjoyment but is not necessary. Glad you found such a teacher.
I'll send you a PM in Jan. 2013 if plans go through to be in Bangkok then.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby gasninja » Sep 29th, '12, 22:38

theredbaron wrote:. The pots he sells are extremely questionable cheap rubbish. There are new pots that are perfectly OK to make a very nice pot of tea. You can go to any good teashop in places such as KL, Hongkong or Taiwan and see them for sale. But those he sells are not of that category. If he would be honest he would try to make OK new pots accessible to tea lovers from the West, instead of overpriced cheap imitations of what are not reproductions of older pots.


I don't understand how you can tell so much about there pots from the pictures. You stated that you have never bought one of there pots. Have you ever used one of there pots (I have not). It just seems awfully bold to call them rubbish unless you have brewed tea in one or at least seen one in person.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby theredbaron » Sep 30th, '12, 00:04

gasninja wrote:
theredbaron wrote:. The pots he sells are extremely questionable cheap rubbish. There are new pots that are perfectly OK to make a very nice pot of tea. You can go to any good teashop in places such as KL, Hongkong or Taiwan and see them for sale. But those he sells are not of that category. If he would be honest he would try to make OK new pots accessible to tea lovers from the West, instead of overpriced cheap imitations of what are not reproductions of older pots.


I don't understand how you can tell so much about there pots from the pictures. You stated that you have never bought one of there pots. Have you ever used one of there pots (I have not). It just seems awfully bold to call them rubbish unless you have brewed tea in one or at least seen one in person.


Because i have seen the exact same pots for a nickel and a dime in Chinese souvenir shops (i haven't been though in China since 11 years, so i am not sure what is offered there now), and sold here in Bangkok's nightmarkets as fakes as well. Just yesterday night, when walking through Khlong Tom market, looking for old furniture i walked by lots of them.
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Re: Smaller Gong Chun style teapot?

Postby Tea854 » Oct 18th, '12, 12:19

I bought the gong chun teapot from 5000friends .. I'm very happy with it. I've checked out my local tea houses in Singapore and compared with several teapots. I must say that it is a work of art. Of course, teapot mastery is at different level. I believe the artist is not very famous but perhaps had done quite numerous teapots to be able to produce such standard. Spoke to several people on this and we concluded that for that price it isn't too bad a buy. I learnt from my jade master that we need to try it or touch it before jumping to conclusions. An average jade could become pretty after wearing it for a while and a teapot's lustre will show if you use it and take good care of it. My 2 cents worth.
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