A Tea Addict's Journal

Separated by accident

November 14, 2013 · 4 Comments

Some friends have been saying I should post more of my pots online. Well, here’s one, or two, rather

I’m a real sucker for these pairs with matching pouches, conveniently colour coded so that they are easily identifiable without needing to fish them out and check. There’s a reason that’s necessary

As you can see, they are different – but actually, not that different. The two were clearly made the same way. The only thing is, the one on the left seemed to have, early in its life, suffered an accident. The tip of the spout seems to be filed down to give it the current appearance. It should’ve looked like the one on the right, but for reasons of accident, it isn’t (there’s some residual damage under the spout). As a consequence, whoever owned the pair probably never really used the broken pot, and stuck with the one that isn’t broken. So, now you have even more difference – one has a lovely, shiny patina, the other one has none. If you want evidence that Yixing clay seasons over time, well, this is exhibit A.

You can see that under the lid the clay of both pots are virtually identical.

You can think of these as identical twins who suffered different fates. One got an unlucky break early on, and as a result, is loved that much less and spent that much less time with the owner of the pot. Whoever owned it took enough care to fix the broken pot – it probably had an ugly break of the tip and so the tip was filed down for aesthetics, but for whatever reason, it never got the attention it needed. The other got everything – loving care, attention, all the tea it needed to nourish its surface. So, many years later, I see the end result of it. It is probably safe to say that most will find the seasoned pot much more pleasing to the eye, but now that I am the owner of these two, maybe I’ll try to right the wrong and give the broken pot some love. It deserves it after all these years.

Categories: Objects
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4 responses so far ↓

  • dclarknyc // November 15, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply

    Thanks for posting this—it’s a real education to see this pair. Most astonishing to me is the difference in sheen. I’d be really pleased to see more selections from your collection in the future.

  • Alex // November 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Reply

    Agreed with the previous comment, very interesting! Now the obvious question is: what do I do to get that nice sheen? Should I pour hot tea over my pots and brush it around, as they do in Taiwan?

  • Jan // November 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply

    Beautiful pots. Please show more from your collection. It’s very interesting!

  • passingby // February 26, 2014 at 4:21 am | Reply

    These looks old, republican period? A pair like these is a treasure.:D Appreciated the differences in shine. The previous owner’s love in filing down the damaged pot is awww…..

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