While you can buy unlined tetsubin for less than $200 new, the 2 differences that usually determine the price are:MarshalN wrote:Heck, why go for an old one when you can find a new one that's unlined?
http://www.artisticnippon.com/product/i ... ettle.html
It didn't take too long to go through all of them.
There are other sources, including those from Japan, but that'll require a little more work.
Reduction fired: Not all unlined tetsubin are reduction fired.
Number of castings from the mold:The less expensive ones will not be the same quality as either the tetsubin from a single casting or a series of just a handful of castings. The molds degrade with each casting.
To the OP: Personally, I would never buy a tetsubin without handling it in person. You cannot see the details and workmanship from any of the photos that are online. When I went into Hojo's shop, I was stunned at the difference between the high-end and his $300 tetsubin. The $300 ones were not bad, but paled in comparison to these other works of art. If only brewing is important to you, go for the less expensive ones that have been reduced. But, that $1000 burning a hole in your pocket can get you something that is very special.