Yegxing Stoneware Teapot Analysis

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As mentioned before, there were two types of inscriptions on the Yixing stoneware teapot. One type was the individual seals placed on the base of the teapots, and the other one was the customized inscriptions on the bodies of the teapots. This new practice of inscribing, on one hand, was significantly influenced by the imperial reign marking tradition; on the other hand, it was the consequence of the mutual respect between skillful and creative Yixing artisans and their patrons, the scholar-official tea connoisseurs. The relationship between artisans and scholar-officials in mid and late-Ming dynasty has become significantly different from previous periods. Clunas has pointed out, “A distrust of, and even a distaste for, the social role of …show more content…
The first innovation on the Yixing stoneware teapot stemmed from the inscriptions. Jonathan Hay has noticed that “the artisans analogized the surface-scape to a mounted calligraphy, and shifted the contextual point of reference from the writing desk as the site of production to the display surface as the site of consumption. The labor of writing was evoked as one more thing that could be commanded or bought.” As mentioned before, there were two types of inscriptions on the teapot. The first type of the inscription, which were usually poems written by the scholar-official customers, are inscribed on the body of the teapots. The second type was the signatures of the potters, frequently appeared on the bottom of the teapot. The former type could be seen as the result of the potters’ attempts to customize the teapots for their tea-connoisseur clients; meanwhile, the latter type functioned as the identification mark under the influence of the tradition from the state-own workshops. Among some of the early works of Shi Dabin, which were found in the tombs of some scholar-official family members, the seals that inscribed “Dabin (大彬)” on the bottom were the only inscription appeared on his teapots. For example, one Dabin teapot found in a tomb of a scholar-official named Hua Shiyi (1566-1619) in the suburb of modern-day

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