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Yixing Teapots: Form, Functionality and Beauty in Asian Works of Art on May 16 at 10am 

Chinese Yixing pottery refers to vessels created from stoneware where glaze is unnecessary, and the beauty of the clay is paramount. Teapots became a popular form for this type of pottery produced from 1670s onward. The clay used to create these pieces is often referred to as purple clay, or zisha clay, although the clay produces pieces in tones varying in color from red to dark brown and purple. Vessels can remain undecorated and unglazed while others are decorated in relief with Chinese motifs such as flowers and dragons. Others have incised poems on the sides of the teapots.

Yixing teapots feel sturdy and solid in the hand. When they first began production in the 17th century, the teapots were exported from China to Europe with shipments of tea. The Europeans admired these creations and soon enough, they were later imitated in Germany, England, and the Netherlands by the end of the 17th century and into the 18th century.

The teapots in our Asian Works of Art sale provide a great sampling of the different variations in form, color and texture which could be found in Yixing pottery. They were collected over decades and were part of the private collection of Loyd F. and Linda F. Crawley.

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