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May 11th 17 5:24 pm
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Clay tea jars : Yixing or not Yixing, that's the question

by Fabien » May 11th 17 5:24 pm

Hi you all teachatters,

It's been a while since I haven't posted around here. It has changed a lot :D
Talking about Yixing, I have two containers (that I m' not even sure should be called tea caddies) and I would like to know if some of you can tell me a bit more about them. I seldomly saw some of these sold as antique Yixing tea caddies.
Compared to my Yixing teapots it's a lighter red clay that shows similarities with hongni, it seems pretty low fired with a dull sound and when there are chips, the clay looks even more light red/orange. If a teapot showed this kind of clay I would even suggest chaozhou clay.
The one photographed here has a blue enamel coating (with firing cracks) and I have the same one without enamel and with the exact same seals.
Feel free to share any thoughts or infos you might have on these, whatever it really is they do really fine as jars for storing shu and liu bao and that's the most important :wink:
IMG_1897.JPG
IMG_1896.JPG
IMG_1895.JPG
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May 11th 17 5:56 pm
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Re: Clay tea jars : Yixing or not Yixing, that's the question

by Fabien » May 11th 17 5:56 pm

I was wrong, the second container is not exactly identical. Differences in the seal and the decorations and a small seal under the cover. Sorry for the photos, those are the ones from the seller, the container is currently taking a baking soda bath :D
$_55.jpg
$_57.jpg
If I'm right, same characters but not in the modern chinese simplified version compared to blue enameled one.
$_58.jpg
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May 11th 17 6:30 pm
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Re: Clay tea jars : Yixing or not Yixing, that's the question

by ricegeek » May 11th 17 6:30 pm

The clay color looks off, and the stamp also look suspiciously modern. My guess is these are fakes. Not yixing, and not antiques.

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May 11th 17 8:07 pm
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Re: Clay tea jars : Yixing or not Yixing, that's the question

by Fabien » May 11th 17 8:07 pm

ricegeek wrote: The clay color looks off, and the stamp also look suspiciously modern. My guess is these are fakes. Not yixing, and not antiques.
I didn't state that those were neither antiques or Yixing. My question was rather to know what those container are, what they are used for and where they come from. The clay as I said is more flower pot like or chaozhou-kind. But what I'd like to learn is if jars like these were ever made with Yixing clay and what was eventually indicated within the seals. They work perfectly for my teas, just pure curiosity in this case :wink:

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May 11th 17 8:11 pm
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Re: Clay tea jars : Yixing or not Yixing, that's the question

by williammimi70 » May 11th 17 8:11 pm

Fabien wrote:
ricegeek wrote: The clay color looks off, and the stamp also look suspiciously modern. My guess is these are fakes. Not yixing, and not antiques.
I didn't state that those were neither antiques or Yixing. My question was rather to know what those container are, what they are used for and where they come from. The clay as I said is more flower pot like or chaozhou-kind. But what I'd like to learn is if jars like these were ever made with Yixing clay and what was eventually indicated within the seals. They work perfectly for my teas, just pure curiosity in this case :wink:
I remember from somewhere that they were used for carrying crickets( insect) I have one like it but I am certain that it is modern

May 11th 17 9:53 pm
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Re: Clay tea jars : Yixing or not Yixing, that's the question

by ricegeek » May 11th 17 9:53 pm

Ah, I saw the title, and didnt read closely your post. Sorry if my wording came on too strong.

These looks like they could be designed as tea caddies, given the wide opening. Though Williammimi70 also has a good point that they can be used to carry crickets or centipedes. The phrase "红头青“ is etched on both, and there's some references to crickets fights when plugging that into Baidu, so that's a good lead.

May 12th 17 9:01 am
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Re: Clay tea jars : Yixing or not Yixing, that's the question

by Bok » May 12th 17 9:01 am

that blue looks a bit toxic for my taste, not sure if it is beneficial or food-safe. But then it doesn’t touch the interior… well

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May 13th 17 10:09 am
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Re: Clay tea jars : Yixing or not Yixing, that's the question

by CheekyChipmunk » May 13th 17 10:09 am

Hi Fabien,

I will not comment on the jars that you have posted as I don't know enough to be able to say much with confidence. However, you asked if Yixing has been used to make tea caddies. My answer to this question is a tentative yes, as I seem to remember reading a post by someone regarded as knowledgeable in the field of Yixing talking about how even cooking vessels were once made with Yixing (for export to Japan and elsewhere if i'm not mistaken?). However, don't be surprised if soon after posting this someone who has more of an idea suggests this is inaccurate.

I have what I believe to be is a Yixing jar which is currently sitting empty but which I intend to use for tea. The reason it is empty is that it is quite large (I estimate that it would fit almost a whole broken-up cake) and I haven't got any cakes which I want to fully break apart. Whether it was meant to be used for storing tea is another matter. Again with some trepidation. I believe that it is quite common for objects of this sort of size to be used as a ginger jar or for rice etc. However provided they aren't toxic and your climate is relatively tea friendly, I'd say there is no reason not to store tea in them! To give you an idea of what mine looks like I have attached a picture. The clay is modern to my eyes and not of particularly high quality but then again, it would not make much sense for a modern jar to contain high quality clay.

I hope this answers your query in some way!

Cheers,

CC
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