• by vinux

Among the many purple sand pottery collections in the Palace Museum, there are seven sets and eleven pieces with the sign “Xingyouhengtang”. Do you know who commissioned them?

The owner of these purple sand teapots is Zai Quan, the fourth generation master of the Dingqin Prince’s Mansion. Zai Quan was born in the 59th year of Qianlong (1794) and passed away in the 4th year of Xianfeng (1854). He was awarded as a Grand Minister and Shangshu of Gongbu, General of Infantry and given a hereditary title. He was granted the title of “Ding Junwang” at the end of Daoguang period and received an imperial order.

There are constant inscriptions engraved on the round pot in the street.

Another similar item is the Hengtang pot, which was sold at the 2013 Autumn Auction.

After the reign of Jiaqing in the Qing Dynasty, in some economically and culturally developed regions in Jiangnan, literati and noble families specially commissioned purple sand pots and engraved the names of their family halls on the body or bottom of them. Then this kind of trend spread to the royal palace and courtiers, and there appeared Hengtang-style purple sand pots which were affected by this trend.

The bottle is decorated with a pattern of the eternal feast in a temple.

The black sand flower bat pattern cup.

The Hangyouhengtang is the private hall number of Zai Quen, which he exclusively owns, and is written in the “Hangyouhengtang First Collection”. His literary attainments are high and he has a hobby of collecting. Hangyouhengtang’s purple pottery is mostly from the Daoguang and Xianfeng periods. It is made with delicate craftsmanship and superb technology, which also represents Zai Quen’s aesthetic tastes and has the style of court use. It is a precious cultural relic handed down for generations.

The black sand floral bat pattern cup.

Ganyouhengtang was a private hall of Zai Quen, who was exclusively used for his purpose and had the “Ganyouhengtangshují”. He had a high level of literary accomplishment and a fondness for collecting. Ganyouhengtang’s purple sand pottery mostly dates back to the Daoguang and Xianfeng period, with meticulous workmanship and superior craftsmanship, which also represents Zai Quen’s aesthetic taste and has the flavor of palace use. It is a precious cultural relic with long history.

A bowl with glazed plum blossom patterns and chrysanthemum petals.

A plate with a pattern of plum blossoms glazed on the chrysanthemum petals.

The bowl has a plum blossom pattern on its lid.

The spoon has a hanging glazed plum blossom pattern.

These purple sand wares, the body of which is generally inscribed with “Xing You Heng Tang Zhu Ren System” or “Xing You Heng Tang Zhu Ren Bo Use”, some with “Ding Di Qing Shang” square seal, and the bottom of the ware mostly with “Xing You Heng Tang” Seal script. In addition to the Palace Museum, there are also a purple sand pot in Nanjing Museum and a purple sand hot pot in National Museum bearing the Xing You Heng Tang mark.