Jan 2nd 18 5:40 pm
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2nd 18 5:03 pm

Real Lu Ni?

by tibeee.nagy » Jan 2nd 18 5:40 pm

Hello,

I'm a beginner tea drinker (in yixing ware theme too), so I need some help. I would like to buy my first yixing teaset. I read a lot of things from yixing ware materials, shapes... I drink black teas (lapsang souchung, darjeeling) and I thought to try pu erh, oolong.

The point is:
Is this price realistic for these products? (I read Lu Ni is nowadays rare clay.)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dong-Po-Shi-Pi ... 3016638259
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Hu-Chi ... 3040754845

Thanks!

Jan 3rd 18 10:47 am
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 1st 18 12:55 pm
Location: Plainfield, Indiana United States

Re: Real Lu Ni?

by Enjex » Jan 3rd 18 10:47 am

Hi! first off, let me say that i am quite new myself, and have only started purchasing yixing as well.

that said, based on the research i have done, i would personally not buy yixing from ebay. there are so many fakes today that it is best for us newbs to go through a trusted, reputable dealer, and even doing that, there is still a good chance that we will get a raw deal. Even if the dealer is selling "real" yixing clay, it could be of low quality. That being said, you cannot equate $$ of the item with it being real or not. those could easily be a manufactured, chemical clay that they are passing as real clay, and therefore asking alot of money for. based on the coloration, how bright they are, to me (as i said, still a newb) there is a high chance that the clays have dyes added to achieve the color.

also, while the second pot is properly dull looking, the first pot is extremely shiny, especially for a new yixing pot. it would take a lot of usage for a pot to build that kind of patina, and stores quite often shine their pots with either wax, or some other chemical to either hide the fact that it is fake/low quality clay, or simply to make actual clay pots look better on the shelf. either way, having even a wax coating is not ideal; it is removable by boiling and or soaking in hot (not boiling) bleach, scrubbing, and extremely thoroughly rinsing. if it is not wax though, well, i wouldnt want to drink anything that came out of it. no telling what they used to buff it with, and no telling what is inside that clay.

TLDR; personally, i would not buy from that store, or ebay or amazon for that matter, especially at the price point that they are asking for that clay. i would rather ask around some tea sites and try to find a dealer that carries that kind of clay, or who could find a pot of the clay you are looking for.

Jan 4th 18 5:54 pm
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2nd 18 5:03 pm

Re: Real Lu Ni?

by tibeee.nagy » Jan 4th 18 5:54 pm

Enjex wrote: Hi! first off, let me say that i am quite new myself, and have only started purchasing yixing as well.

that said, based on the research i have done, i would personally not buy yixing from ebay. there are so many fakes today that it is best for us newbs to go through a trusted, reputable dealer, and even doing that, there is still a good chance that we will get a raw deal. Even if the dealer is selling "real" yixing clay, it could be of low quality. That being said, you cannot equate $$ of the item with it being real or not. those could easily be a manufactured, chemical clay that they are passing as real clay, and therefore asking alot of money for. based on the coloration, how bright they are, to me (as i said, still a newb) there is a high chance that the clays have dyes added to achieve the color.

also, while the second pot is properly dull looking, the first pot is extremely shiny, especially for a new yixing pot. it would take a lot of usage for a pot to build that kind of patina, and stores quite often shine their pots with either wax, or some other chemical to either hide the fact that it is fake/low quality clay, or simply to make actual clay pots look better on the shelf. either way, having even a wax coating is not ideal; it is removable by boiling and or soaking in hot (not boiling) bleach, scrubbing, and extremely thoroughly rinsing. if it is not wax though, well, i wouldnt want to drink anything that came out of it. no telling what they used to buff it with, and no telling what is inside that clay.

TLDR; personally, i would not buy from that store, or ebay or amazon for that matter, especially at the price point that they are asking for that clay. i would rather ask around some tea sites and try to find a dealer that carries that kind of clay, or who could find a pot of the clay you are looking for.
Thanks!

I'm worried mostly about chemicals (on fake yixing). Unfortunately in my country (Hungary) I found just one yixing seller (on web), there are some yixing teapot with certification (75-335 USD). So it's pretty expensive. But what does it guarantee that it is relly original, free from chemicals? The certification are chinese (and it may be fakes), if the teapot is fake.

I was looking this teapot from the above-mentioned site (135 USD, from Tian qing ni clay, made by Liang Shoukun):

http://www.teautja.hu/tea-kellekek/kina ... -teaskanna

User avatar
Jan 6th 18 2:24 am
Posts: 83
Joined: Feb 28th 16 3:46 pm

Re: Real Lu Ni?

by CheekyChipmunk » Jan 6th 18 2:24 am

Hi Guys,

First of all let me start by saying that while I own a fair amount of Yixing, I am by no means an expert. That being said, I would strongly encourage you NOT to buy blue clay, whether it is called muo lu ni or something else.

I say this after trying myself to acquire some from multiple sources, including eBay. First of all, those much more experienced than me can have trouble discerning true provenance/authenticity of particular clays in much more common strains such as zisha or Di cao Qing etc. When it comes to muo lu ni, there are very few genuine un-doped (meaning unaltered by chemicals) examples in existence. This is because the clay itself is extremely rarely found in natural clay seams. These rarer or higher quality clays are often exclusively owned by the master craftspeople and passed down from generation to generation as many living makers are now 3rd or 4th generation craftspeople.

Taking this into consideration, the chances of getting the real thing, from eBay, at a price that we could afford is virtually zero. This has certainly been my experience. I started a thread about it on this site that should be easy enough to find searching for muo lu ni. While I respect and appreciate all the help of the fellow chatters who helped me during this process, I am of the belief that I am yet to own anything that is the genuine article.

This being said, I believe the biggest of the three pots in this thread, may at least be decent quality clay. The reason it could only be this one leads me to my next point. That is, this particular colour, when imitated, tends to lead to health hazards. Of the ‘muo lu ni’ I own, the largest of the three is the only pot that does not lead to an irritated throat after use. Such a feeling in the throat is a massive red flag and common in poor quality, chemically doped pots and should NEVER be used for consumption of tea, water, or anything that you intend to ingest.

Just because the large one does not lead to health hazards does not by any means prove that it is the real deal either. The pot was fairly cheap and pots by the supposed maker, in ordinary clay, command exponentially higher prices. However, the workmanship of the pot in my opinion is actually quite good so I believe the best case scenario is that it was made with unhazardous, blue coloured clay by someone with some level of skill who knows someone else that is a competent engraver.

I may be rambling on about my own experience but I do so to try and impress on you how hard it is to have certainty about anything when it comes to Yixing pots, let alone when it comes to rarer clays. I’ll leave you with one final anecdote.

I happen to be traveling in China currently and am in Chengdu. I managed to find the tea market where local people shop and in it there is a store exclusively with pots from one factory in Yixing. The owner of the store said he owns the factory but I think it might be his family that owns it or something along those lines. Almost all of the pots in there are unique, meaning that he only has one example of each clay/shape combination. Yixing is still produced in such volumes that when you see a pot, it was likely fired with 10 or more of exactly the same clay in the same shape, or this is what I understand to be true (I may well be mistaken). Anyway, in his store, as is common, his finer pots are in a glass cabinet behind the table where tea is served. In the whole store which has over 100 probably at least 200 pots, there is one low quality blue pot (the clay is dull and doesn’t sound well fired, which can often come down to luck in the firing process, or lack thereof in this instance), and one pot in the glass cabinet meaning it is one of his best pots. I asked him about it and blue clay and he confirmed it is very rare to get blue clay but he was sure it was genuine. It appeared to be the case but I cannot be sure as I have no idea if I have actually seen true muo lu ni before. This aside, the pot is of a simple shape and is made in his factory. I should add he showed me a current book of Yixing pots and contemporary makers and what auction prices currently are with full colour photos of the auctioned items. He was quick to point out his makers photos in this book, suggesting they are of some provenance but are not considered masters yet. Whether this blue pot was made by one of them I do not know.

The price of this pot is over $500 USD (3500 RMB). I might go back to his store and get some photos of it if I can, thinking about it now I don’t know why I didn’t yesterday... anyways sorry for the long post!

Jan 6th 18 6:26 pm
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2nd 18 5:03 pm

Re: Real Lu Ni?

by tibeee.nagy » Jan 6th 18 6:26 pm

CheekyChipmunk wrote: Hi Guys,

First of all let me start by saying that while I own a fair amount of Yixing, I am by no means an expert. That being said, I would strongly encourage you NOT to buy blue clay, whether it is called muo lu ni or something else.

I say this after trying myself to acquire some from multiple sources, including eBay. First of all, those much more experienced than me can have trouble discerning true provenance/authenticity of particular clays in much more common strains such as zisha or Di cao Qing etc. When it comes to muo lu ni, there are very few genuine un-doped (meaning unaltered by chemicals) examples in existence. This is because the clay itself is extremely rarely found in natural clay seams. These rarer or higher quality clays are often exclusively owned by the master craftspeople and passed down from generation to generation as many living makers are now 3rd or 4th generation craftspeople.

Taking this into consideration, the chances of getting the real thing, from eBay, at a price that we could afford is virtually zero. This has certainly been my experience. I started a thread about it on this site that should be easy enough to find searching for muo lu ni. While I respect and appreciate all the help of the fellow chatters who helped me during this process, I am of the belief that I am yet to own anything that is the genuine article.

This being said, I believe the biggest of the three pots in this thread, may at least be decent quality clay. The reason it could only be this one leads me to my next point. That is, this particular colour, when imitated, tends to lead to health hazards. Of the ‘muo lu ni’ I own, the largest of the three is the only pot that does not lead to an irritated throat after use. Such a feeling in the throat is a massive red flag and common in poor quality, chemically doped pots and should NEVER be used for consumption of tea, water, or anything that you intend to ingest.

Just because the large one does not lead to health hazards does not by any means prove that it is the real deal either. The pot was fairly cheap and pots by the supposed maker, in ordinary clay, command exponentially higher prices. However, the workmanship of the pot in my opinion is actually quite good so I believe the best case scenario is that it was made with unhazardous, blue coloured clay by someone with some level of skill who knows someone else that is a competent engraver.

I may be rambling on about my own experience but I do so to try and impress on you how hard it is to have certainty about anything when it comes to Yixing pots, let alone when it comes to rarer clays. I’ll leave you with one final anecdote.

I happen to be traveling in China currently and am in Chengdu. I managed to find the tea market where local people shop and in it there is a store exclusively with pots from one factory in Yixing. The owner of the store said he owns the factory but I think it might be his family that owns it or something along those lines. Almost all of the pots in there are unique, meaning that he only has one example of each clay/shape combination. Yixing is still produced in such volumes that when you see a pot, it was likely fired with 10 or more of exactly the same clay in the same shape, or this is what I understand to be true (I may well be mistaken). Anyway, in his store, as is common, his finer pots are in a glass cabinet behind the table where tea is served. In the whole store which has over 100 probably at least 200 pots, there is one low quality blue pot (the clay is dull and doesn’t sound well fired, which can often come down to luck in the firing process, or lack thereof in this instance), and one pot in the glass cabinet meaning it is one of his best pots. I asked him about it and blue clay and he confirmed it is very rare to get blue clay but he was sure it was genuine. It appeared to be the case but I cannot be sure as I have no idea if I have actually seen true muo lu ni before. This aside, the pot is of a simple shape and is made in his factory. I should add he showed me a current book of Yixing pots and contemporary makers and what auction prices currently are with full colour photos of the auctioned items. He was quick to point out his makers photos in this book, suggesting they are of some provenance but are not considered masters yet. Whether this blue pot was made by one of them I do not know.

The price of this pot is over $500 USD (3500 RMB). I might go back to his store and get some photos of it if I can, thinking about it now I don’t know why I didn’t yesterday... anyways sorry for the long post!
Thank you! Your post is very helpful. I didn't think that this blue clay is so rare. If you are taking a photo, please upload it here. I'm curious. :)