Choosing a teapot

Finally, it’s time to choose a teapot using the criteria mentioned earlier. Some tea enthusiasts may prefer big ones over 400cc. Others like to collect small ones having about 200cc or less capacity. It is important to collect teapots that take one’s fancy. Those who just want to get a teapot for drinking tea can consider looking for teapots which are half-handmade as these are generally less expensive. The serious collector should look for teapots which are fully handmade by artists accredited with government bodies in China. Remember, the higher the artists are ranked in the accreditation, the pricier the teapot.

No matter the price you pay today for the fully handmade teapot, the teapot’s value will appreciate as the years pass, for the clay which Yixing Zisha teapots are made of will surely diminish in supply with increased mining of the ore. So far one-third of the total supply of ore in Huang Long Shan 黄龙山 (Yellow Dragon Mountain) has been mined (2021 estimation by Li Hongyuan 李洪元, a Zisha researcher). Supply is finite, but demand is not. Also, the accredited artists’ ranking will rise as the artists pass the higher level examinations conducted by the ceramic industry bodies and receive more recognition for their works, thus assuring the rise in value of teapots made by them. Such teapots are a good investment.

However, whether you are interested in collecting modern or old/antique Yixing Zisha teapots, do be on the lookout for fakes floating around in the market. There are unscrupulous dealers preying on unsuspecting collectors using a variety of methods, some of which are meticulously detailed in Billy Mood’s insightful article on Yixing teapots.

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