Purple clay teapot is a distinguished kind of pottery with decorative patterns. You can find the best purple clay teapot in Yixiang City, Jiangsu Province, where porcelain clay, in diverse colors including purple, purplish red and green, is exceptionally fine and highly plastic.
What makes the purple clay teapot stand out is that this teapot can retain the flavor of tea, the longer they are used, the brighter will their surface be. They are artworks while also good for practical use.
After the mid-Ming Dynasty, many scholars in southern China, in a bid to exhibit their artistic taste, became keen to purple clay teapots. Thanks to their participation in production, teapots in exotic shapes, in shapes of wax gourds, lotus flowers, bamboo joints, drums, goose eggs, etc., came into being. Some that have survived to our time do bear carved pictures and inscriptions for added beauty. Nevertheless, purple clay teapots without carved decorations are most preferred.
It is not difficult to assess the quality of a purple clay teapot. You may lift up the teapot and see whether the handle, lid and spouts are on a straight line. Then you feel its surface to see if it is fine and smooth. Then you remove the lid and examine how well the inner part of the teapot is connected with its spout. Last of all, you place the teapot upside down on a table and examine whether the handle, lid and spout are exactly on the same plane. Though the body of the teapot and its lid were fired simultaneously in the same kiln, contraction of the two parts may vary, on which the quality of the teapot counts. By following the process given above, you’ll distinguish a genuine antique from a fake one and one of good quality from one of inferior quality. For purple clay teapots, quality is of paramount importance, not necessarily the date of their production carved on them. “The older a thing is, the higher will be its price” – this conventional way of assessing the value of antiques does not always apply to purple clay teapots.