Waldo Buur posted an update 1 day, 11 hours ago
As it turned out they were fakes of very famous ชานมไข่มุก teapot art, so I was not off the mark in my old teapot appreciation.Over the years, I have learned a lot about Chinese Yixing zisha teapots, old and new. First of all, the way in which teapots have been signed by an artist, off and on, over the past several hundred years, is with that artist’s or factory’s stamps, which have the Chinese characters of their names, sometimes, somewhat stylized. The stamp is usually on the bottom of the pot, which appears to have begun with the Gong Chun teapot. Later, marks were also included on the underside of the lid, and underneath the handle, although there are variations. We have also heard of a tradition that the direction of the stamp should be along the axis of handle and spout facing front, but, then, we have seen that particular rule also violated. Before the late 1800’s, it was also common for carved lettering to appear on teapot surfaces. Some specific details also apply to certain periods. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, wooden seals were used with Chinese characters but no actual names. In the 1960’s, a cooperative was formed, and all teapots were stamped only with Zhong Guo Yi Xing.However, it was also common, during that period, for artists to put their own seals under the lid. During the cultural revolution of 1966 to 1976, artists were not permitted to put their seals on teapots but were assigned a number. The point is that it is easy to make a copy of the stamp from the original stamp impressions on original teapots, which can also be done with carved lettering. Before the 1960’s, impressions of the original seals were taken with red wax, which made a slightly smaller seal that the original. These days it is done by computer. In comparison, it is much more difficult, for example, to forge the written signature of an artist, Chinese or Western, although that also is not impossible, and many forged paintings of past artists have turned up over the years. In fact, the use of a black light can also sometimes help to reveal fakes, in paintings.The next thing is materials. As I mentioned, when we made reproductions of furniture and folk art, we used nails that were made by a company the same way for 200 years. We used milk paint that was also made the same way for several hundred years. Then, we could also get hardware that was antique, and we could even get wooden boards that were several hundred years old. We, then, finished pieces with our own homemade finishes, using the same materials that had been used for making finishes for hundreds of years. In teapots, there is old clay available because, for example, teapot artist families have been buying clay from Yixing mines for many, many years and have passed some of it down through the generations. However, one of the real differences for older clay and older teapots is that the particle size of the rock powder making up the clay was about twice as large, in the mid-Qing Dynasty, about three times as large in the early Qing Dynasty, and about five times as large, in the Ming period.