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Dec 2nd, '12, 15:39
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Variables Affecting Yixing Pricing

by tst » Dec 2nd, '12, 15:39

I'll ask this question again, since it didn't get a lot of attention in the Yixing Thread.

What factors can affect the price of a yixing pot? I understand it is usually difficult to compare two different pots with so many different variables, so for the purposes of discussion, consider "all other things being equal".

How much does the size of the pot affect pricing? I've seen some xiao pin pots sell for as much as larger pots, even though there is less quantity of clay used for a xiao pin.

How about whether a pot is fully handmade or only half-handmade? I would imagine fully handmade would increase the value, but is this "always" the case all other things being equal?

What about age of clay? I've read some state that aged, older clay is typically higher quality than newer clay, so I would assume pots made of older clay should be more expensive as well.

These are just a few of the things off the top of my head ... thanks for the discussion.

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Dec 2nd, '12, 20:20
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Re: Variables Affecting Yixing Pricing

by ImmortaliTEA » Dec 2nd, '12, 20:20

I think the reason you often see Xiao Pin sized teapots going for the same or an even larger price than bigger teapots is because of three factors: 1) Smaller pots are more difficult to make (especially having to consider the shrinkage percentage when dealing with tiny pots) and require a higher skill level. 2) True Xiao Pin's are always handmade (this was told to me by a vendor but I'm a little skeptical about it). 3) Xiao Pin sized teapots are more rare and just that rarity in combination with the demand (especially by western tea drinkers) drives the price up. When it comes to full or half-handmade I personally think that half-handmade will usually be less expensive than full, however, the quality of craftsmanship & pour will almost always be better on a half-handmade teapot (unless you are talking about fully handmade pots by master craftsmen or others with extremely high skill level in which case the pots will be super expensive). Finally comes the quality of the clay. Since most if not all of the better clays came from the past, any pot made with clay from the 90's or prior will have another increase just because it is considered old clay. I personally prefer old clay teapots that were actually fired during the old days or whatever time period that specific clay came from because I like more porous teapots and the lack of precision when it comes to exact kiln temperature that happened in the old kilns often created a more porous teapot (not to mention the particle/sand size was usually larger creating even more porousness). However, there are newly fired teapots using old clay that has been stored since its time but I personally think they are usually too highly fired for the specific qualities and characteristics that shine with older clays (I would have to assume that older pots fired in the old days would usually be more expensive because they were fired in dragon kilns that are no longer used for today's pots on average). That's my 2 cents but I'm sure there is much more info out there. Thanks!

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