Tree-stump Yixings.


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Tree-stump Yixings.

Postby futurebird » Apr 7th, '13, 16:52

When I first saw this kind of teapot I thought "ugh how cheesy" and I assumed it was just for tourists visiting China. I was surprised to find out that they have a 400+ year history. (But then, so do tourists in China*) Here is an early one sold by Christie's.

Image

It's from the "18th/19th century"

But it gets even better...

Image

This is from 1573-1619! It's not a teapot, yes, but it's the kind of "matching cup" often paired with the above stye of teapot, so, I think it is safe to assume the pots were around too, or followed shortly after.

This style originated during the Ming dynasty. It can be very realistic:

Image

(Image from: http://www.clmattioli.com/catalogue_art ... page_z.htm)

or it can be highly stylized:

Image

A tree stump is a theme well-suited to Yixing clay, with it's natural colors, and ability to hold great detail. But, what I wonder, is why did this style become so popular? It is often found in collections of old British goods. Suggesting that it was made for export. At one time it seemed like everyone's grandma had one of these on the shelf from her trip to "the East" -- but now they have become harder and harder to find:


Image

Pots like the one above with painted handles seem to be in British collections, mostly. And the oldest I've seen was from 1920 or so. So, maybe, in a way, I was right, it is for tourists. I could see how it would be hard to get people who knew nothing for tea and clay to buy dull brown pots, so the glazing adds color. The sizes are also more western, as well, tending to be much larger.

That said, if they are older, quality Yixing clay they could be very nice for brewing. Has anyone used one?

I want to learn more about the history behind this iconic shape. Tell me all that you know! Do people like them in China as much as they are loved in the west? Are they functional?

*I have nothing against tourists in China having been one and aspiring to be one again... as many times as possible.
futurebird
 
Posts: 593
Joined: Feb 12th, '
Location: South Bronx, NYC

Re: Tree-stump Yixings.

Postby bagua7 » Apr 7th, '13, 17:02

They just look tacky to me, like many other of those weird shapes.

Nothing like the more rounded and balanced shapes. Qi flows better in them like a perfectly executed Tai Chi Chuan movement.

Duo qiu, shui ping, fang gu...you name it. :)
User avatar
bagua7
 
Posts: 1232
Joined: Jul 21st, '

Re: Tree-stump Yixings.

Postby futurebird » Apr 7th, '13, 18:05

I just wanted to add this:

Image

This ceramic piece at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston dates to 12th century Korea. :!:

Amazing. The bambo, theme is even older. (and more inherently elegant)

I, too, thought they were tacky. But by tracing their history I can now see a certain beauty in them. What is it that makes something feel tacky? When it feels fake and contrived. Like fake wood paneling on cars, or fake gold necklaces, these are things that aspire to be more than they really are.

But for me it's hard to reject this kind of artistry. Even if it is fake:

Image

A fairness picture.
futurebird
 
Posts: 593
Joined: Feb 12th, '
Location: South Bronx, NYC

Re: Tree-stump Yixings.

Postby futurebird » Apr 7th, '13, 20:55

Image

This teapot was made in England about 1766-1770, possibly by the Cockpit Hill Factory, Derby, England. Inscribed on one side of the teapot is “No Stamp Act” and on the other is “America, Liberty Restored,” both within flowerheads and stylized scrolling leaftips in black.

Teapots such as this were made for sale to the American market soon after the 1766 repeal of the hated Stamp Act, passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765.( http://americanhistory.si.edu/collectio ... ah_1320066 )


There is a hommage to these styles in this teapot that's so deeply intertwined with American history. The knobby spout and handle are identical to those on "tree stump" pots from China. In a way it summarized 100s of years of history ... right up to the disconnect between most American and tea. The fact that it was made in the UK, but echoing a Chinese style with an American slogan blows my mind.

Talk about a tempest in a teapot!

Or maybe it's this ooooolong I'm drinking... definitely tea-drunk at this point. :P :o :lol: :P
futurebird
 
Posts: 593
Joined: Feb 12th, '
Location: South Bronx, NYC

Re: Tree-stump Yixings.

Postby GARCH » Apr 8th, '13, 03:36

Well I'm guessing this is because of the origin of Yixing teapots? From what I have read so far one of the first few Yixing pots was made to look like the burl of an old tree, the famous Gong Chun teapot. Maybe this explains the fascination with tree-stumps :P
User avatar
GARCH
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Jan 3rd, '1
Location: Singapore

Re: Tree-stump Yixings.

Postby TokyoB » Apr 8th, '13, 21:51

futurebird wrote:Image

This teapot was made in England about 1766-1770, possibly by the Cockpit Hill Factory, Derby, England. Inscribed on one side of the teapot is “No Stamp Act” and on the other is “America, Liberty Restored,” both within flowerheads and stylized scrolling leaftips in black.

Teapots such as this were made for sale to the American market soon after the 1766 repeal of the hated Stamp Act, passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765.( http://americanhistory.si.edu/collectio ... ah_1320066 )


There is a hommage to these styles in this teapot that's so deeply intertwined with American history. The knobby spout and handle are identical to those on "tree stump" pots from China. In a way it summarized 100s of years of history ... right up to the disconnect between most American and tea. The fact that it was made in the UK, but echoing a Chinese style with an American slogan blows my mind.

Talk about a tempest in a teapot!

Or maybe it's this ooooolong I'm drinking... definitely tea-drunk at this point. :P :o :lol: :P


No, you're right, this really is amazing!
User avatar
TokyoB
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Nov 19th, '
Location: US (mid-Atlantic)

Re: Tree-stump Yixings.

Postby TokyoB » Apr 8th, '13, 21:54

And for more on a couple of tree-stump yixings:

http://theteagallery.blogspot.com/2011/03/
User avatar
TokyoB
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Nov 19th, '
Location: US (mid-Atlantic)

Re: Tree-stump Yixings.

Postby Evan Draper » Apr 8th, '13, 21:55

User avatar
Evan Draper
 
Posts: 384
Joined: Jan 23rd, '
Location: Philadelphia


Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation