- by vinux
1. Analyze the materials: purple clay teapots are made of a special type of clay found only in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, which is known for its fine texture and bright color. Genuine teapots will have a glossy, smooth feel and soft sound when tapped with a finger.
2. Check the craftsmanship: handmade purple clay teapots require skilled artisans to chip away at the clay piece by piece to form an even surface and uniform thickness throughout the pot. Inspecting the walls, lid rim and spout can help determine if they’re authentic or not.
3. Examine the glaze: most genuine purple clay teapots will use either a crackled or enamel glaze that not only gives it an attractive appearance but also increases its durability and water resistance. Authentic glazes will be consistent in color without any blemishes or discoloration.
4. Look for authenticity marks: many high-end purple clay teapots carry marks on their bottom to indicate their origin as well as who crafted them and when they were made.
Purple clay teapots, a major item in the collection world, have always been favored by many collectors. When collecting purple clay teapots, many collectors prefer to collect handmade purple clay teapots crafted by purple clay masters. As for how to identify genuine handmade pots, industry experts have provided the following references.
First of all, start from the price. Except for some small pots, most purple clay teapots with prices below 1000 yuan are not handmade. Some sellers will say that it is sold at a loss for various reasons, which is unreliable, no one will do business at a loss.
Secondly, now some craftsmen cover the inside wall of the pot with seals in order to make it easier for collectors to distinguish between full hand-made pots. Such a pot can basically be judged as a full hand-made pot.
Again, judging from the craftsmanship of the pot, a handmade pot is made by flattening mud pieces and then cutting them according to the shape of the pot to form a body (also called a body tube). Therefore, there will be mud piece joints on the body tube of the pot. This joint cannot be seen from the outside of the pot, but must be seen from inside. Because the external connections can be processed by manual work, some tools cannot be used in places where they cannot be seen inside the kettle, so it is difficult to deal with it flatly. Some may not be visible and have to be touched by hand. This feature is more obvious in parts that cannot be seen as you look up inside the pot. When touched by hand, there will be strip-shaped wrinkles from top to bottom.
Sometimes the inner treatment of a fully handmade pot is not the same, which is manifested in that if no extra treatment is done for the inner wall of a fully handmade pot, a kind of natural folds will appear, while half-handmade pots usually have some artificial scrapes. However, sometimes in order to make the inside of the pot look smoother and better, artisans will also scrape when making a fully handmade pot. This needs to be carefully identified by collectors.
Additionally, no two half-handmade teapots made with the same process will be alike; whereas, full-handmade teapots are unique and irreproducible. Setting this aside, the squeezing power used in forming the half-handmade teapot will make the clay material more tightly packed compared to full-handmade teapots, leading to less air permeability.