Chinese Yixing Zisha Teapot – Yixing City, Jiangsu, China

Chinese Yixing Zisha Teapot – Yixing City, Jiangsu, China

Yixing clay teapots (宜兴; 宜興), also called Zisha teapot (紫砂; lit. ‘Purple clay’), are made from Yixing clay. This traditional style commonly used to brew tea originated in China, dating back to the 15th century, and are made from clay produced near Yixing in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu.

Archaeological excavations reveal that as early as the Song dynasty (10th century) potters near Yixing were using local “zisha” (紫砂 or 紫泥 ; literally, “purple sand/clay”) to make utensils that may have functioned as teapots.

According to the Ming dynasty author Zhou Gaoqi, during the reign of the Zhengde Emperor, a monk from Jinsha Temple (Golden Sand Temple) in Yixing handcrafted a fine quality teapot from local clay. Such teapots soon became popular with the scholarly class, and the fame of Yixing teapots began to spread.

Video Source: 宜兴紫砂:中国人的“泡茶神器” from 中国新闻社 on Youtube  CC BY

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