Higher-end gaiwans


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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby bagua7 » Dec 20th, '12, 05:16

Definitively.

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Pics sent to me by one of the owners of China Cha Dao after an enquiry about quality thin Jingdezhen gaiwans not selling online; I was so delighted but when he disclosed the price to me, I thought it was a joke. No, no joke my friend real prices for master's work. :cry:

Can't believe there are gaiwans out there competing with Yixing ( :lol: ) and people spending that sort of money on teaware that is prone to break.

I also use a cheapie for Chinese greens; thin and easy to handle. :)
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Drax » Dec 20th, '12, 14:04

I appreciate the discussion, everybody.

However, I am more interested in the why (the things causing greater value), because each of us will have to make our own determination on whether we agree with that worth, as we do with all things.

But it sounds like gaiwans have pretty much the same drivers as other pottery -- amount of effort, "importance" of the person doing that effort. I wasn't sure if there were maybe some other factors.

I am a bit more curious about the wall thickness -- I would guess that thinner walls are harder to make (without losses during firing), is that true? Really thin walled gaiwans seem a lot rarer. Is that more due to demand, or due to difficulty?
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby David R. » Dec 20th, '12, 14:54

I believe that it is not because gaiwan are glazed that the quality of the porcelain won't play an important role. Just try a $5 mass product gaiwan next to a nicely handmade one using good quality porcelain, and you may see the difference.

I also think that the quality of the painting is usually the main criteria for the price difference in many shops. But I believe that there are very good gaiwan out there, using some very good porcelain formulas (I find bone china to be great) which are better. And they are hard to find.
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Tead Off » Dec 20th, '12, 23:13

Drax wrote:I appreciate the discussion, everybody.

However, I am more interested in the why (the things causing greater value), because each of us will have to make our own determination on whether we agree with that worth, as we do with all things.

But it sounds like gaiwans have pretty much the same drivers as other pottery -- amount of effort, "importance" of the person doing that effort. I wasn't sure if there were maybe some other factors.

I am a bit more curious about the wall thickness -- I would guess that thinner walls are harder to make (without losses during firing), is that true? Really thin walled gaiwans seem a lot rarer. Is that more due to demand, or due to difficulty?

The Chinese themselves drive most of the market for high-end porcelain and Chinese antiques. Brand and name, period marks, as well as artistry are all factors that go into the pricing. It is like anything else that is made, different levels of sophistication, painting, clarity, etc. Without a hands-on comparison of many examples, it is difficult to learn and judge these things. The Jingdezhen kiln is historically important and produced the best porcelains in Ming/Qing, but I'm not certain that this remains the case today. That kiln produced wares for royalty and the best artists were associated with it. Things are quite different today with many factories and levels of acheivement.
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Alex » Jan 26th, '13, 09:02

Why buy high end gaiwan? For me the way the thin porcelain feels elegant in the hand, the high pitched ping as the lid makes contact with the body, due to the thin walls its very ease to create a sharp small opening between the lid and the vessel walls which means I can even brew fuka in the gaiwan if I really want. In comparison cheap gaiwans sound dull & feel clumsy to me. But its all about where your money goes.....

When I talk about high end gaiwans I'm talking about the gaiwan as a piece of brewing hardware. The artwork doesn't make it higher end to me personally.....although I do like a nice simple design if it means access to a decent gaiwan.

So its usually about the crystal like ping of the porcelain and thinness which makes handling a dream. Its hard to get to that high end without there being artwork though. And the artwork if done well can really drive the price up.

Just to give you an example I bought 3-4 shapes of the gaiwans bagua7 posted. I asked Jerry to get the studio to do me a few plain gaiwans. And they cost me roughly $22-$25 each. Now I don't know the price of the painted ones that B7 posted but I'd imagine around $100+ therefor the price of gaiwans that high is very much about the cost of the artwork.

The tea gallery gaiwans were very nice. They were decently priced and offered a similar quality. I'm guessing they must of been made in Taiwan as they had that more creamy white that Taiwan porcelain often seems to have. where as the JDZ top stuff usually is brilliant pure white.

The really expensive gaiwans tend to be over 150ml (usually closer to 200ml) and have a saucer with no slot for the gaiwan to sit in. I presume to show off the artwork.

So as you'll usually have to buy one with a bit of art work on, going for a simple design means the money you're spending is less in favour of the artwork.

The current price if you want a taste of a nice gaiwan (plus a little artwork) is around $40. Of course it will vary from vendor to vendor

Here's an example

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/hand-painted- ... 0bc&_uhb=1

Very nice size (about 100ml to the lid, 120ml to the brim) and shape for the money. And the finish is spot on. As thin as I've ever held and handles superbly. (the one I bought had a wider rim, the one pictured seems a bit more subtle in the rim department)

Bit of a ramble. Hope there was a bit of info in there useful to some one

My personal rating for porcelain thickness goes like this

Once held up to the light observing my fingers through the porcelain what do I see.

Thin: Can see the pinkness of my fingers
Medium: Can see the shadows of my fingers
Thick: Can see no fingers, no moon. :lol:

-Alex
Last edited by Alex on Jan 27th, '13, 05:05, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby brandon » Jan 26th, '13, 09:09

TTG gaiwan is different formulation from Dehua.
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Alex » Jan 26th, '13, 09:13

If they sold them still those would be the gaiwans I'd be recommending. Still love that small one B! 8)
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Drax » Jan 26th, '13, 09:49

Absolutely useful, thanks, Alex!

I have about 8 or so gaiwans, and I think only two of those are of the finer quality that you describe. The difference is certainly noticeable in the feel. Of course, given my general clumsy nature, I tend to default to the thicker gaiwans, just out of safety for the brewing instrument itself... :lol:
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby bagua7 » Jan 27th, '13, 00:21

Alex wrote:Why buy high end gaiwan?


But what is a high-end gaiwan? Money spent on it?

IMO if that thing is hard to handle and burns the tips of your fingers all the time, it is no longer higher-end since is not practical. This to me is the most important factor for a "high-end" gaiwan: practicality, ease of use, not price.

$4.20 I paid for this De Hua baby (80mL):

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(lao cong ye sheng dancong oolong)

I am delighted with that thing, finally I found a gaiwan that doesn't burn my fingers and pours nicely. I got two other gaiwans I will give away soon, can't stand them even though they supposed to be crème de la crème (jingde stuff). They weren't pricey but I wouldn't call them high-end because they seem to be ideal to hold mayonnaise. :lol:
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby TIM » Jan 27th, '13, 00:46

bagua7 wrote:
Alex wrote:Why buy high end gaiwan?


But what is a high-end gaiwan? Money spent on it?

IMO if that thing is hard to handle and burns the tips of your fingers all the time, it is no longer higher-end since is not practical. This to me is the most important factor for a "high-end" gaiwan: practicality, ease of use, not price.

$4.20 I paid for this De Hua baby (80mL):

Image

Image

(lao cong ye sheng dancong oolong)

I am delighted with that thing, finally I found a gaiwan that doesn't burn my fingers and pours nicely. I got two other gaiwans I will give away soon, can't stand them even though they supposed to be crème de la crème (jingde stuff). They weren't pricey but I wouldn't call them high-end because they seem to be ideal to hold mayonnaise. :lol:


Thats a very good example of a Finger-Burner gaiwan. Gentlemen?
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby NOESIS » Jan 27th, '13, 00:47

....speaking of TTG gaiwans (med size).

http://teahong.com/9027-bell-utility-gaiwan.html

A very reasonable price for such a utilitarian brewing vessel.

And personally, for most of the oolongs and chinese green teas that I prefer, I'll use one of these over an Yixing pot more often than not. My pots only come into service for darker roasted yancha and TGY.
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Alex » Jan 27th, '13, 04:19

bagua7 wrote:
Alex wrote:Why buy high end gaiwan?


But what is a high-end gaiwan? Money spent on it?


To a degree

I went in to quite a lot details that it wasn't about spending more and more, but a sweet spot to get something thin enough to be more ergonomic. The gaiwan you posted would be too thick for what I like but glad you're enjoying. Its not what I would call high quality though

Of course whatever you spend you need to make sure its got a wide enough rim at the right angle to grip when hot. And be of a size and shape you'll find comfortable in the hand. Might take a little trial and error and enquires. For instance the one I linked too I wouldnt buy off the picture in the listing but I thought I'd email the seller and get a proper picture of the one they were selling. Which happened to have a much wider rim.

please do post some pics of your high end ones you're getting rid of. I'd be interested to see them :D
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby David R. » Jan 27th, '13, 08:48

Alex wrote:please do post some pics of your high end ones you're getting rid of. I'd be interested to see them :D


Me too !
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Teaism » Jan 27th, '13, 11:45

Gaiwan can range from $10 to $10,000. Recently I met a Gaiwan collector in Hong Kong and his collection of antique Gaiwans are really impressive. There is a lot of history and art in the antique Gaiwans, the firing, the painting ( overglaze and underglaze) etc. The price depends on its rarity and also the demand.

Some high end one are really worth the money, not so much for use but for appreciation. I have 2 gaiwans done by Chai Xiao Fang in early 90s and the celodon really feel like jade. The level of artistry in those Gaiwan is really mesmerising and on another level of enlightenment. Most of the time they can be used to brew tea very effectively but many would just use them for appreciation.

I am not sure how much the Gaiwan cost now but a small celedon teacup by him if done in 90s would easily cost US$600. :shock:
It is crazy, but there are a long Q of buyers for this type of high end Gaiwan ( i.e. those done by Masters or antiques ones)

For practical use, I am happy with the $20 ones. Usually for selection, just take a small metal rod and hit gently on the side of the gaiwan. Those good ones will produce a high pitch ring.

Cheers and happy teaing!
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Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby guitar9876 » Jan 27th, '13, 19:33

http://www.redblossomtea.com/teaware/gaiwan.html
I got to see some of Red Blossom's new gaiwans when I stopped by the shop recently. Beautiful, but I could never justify buying one because first of all, I'm a broke college student and second, I break way too many gaiwans! :lol:
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