1980's Yixing Shui Ping Fang Yuan Pai

One of the teapots we get asked most for is the shui ping shape from Yixing Factory 1. It’s really a classic – simple shape, good clay and very functional.

Last weekend I visited a collector who’s been collecting Yixing pots since the 80’s. Over the years I’ve met some people with a lot of teapots… thousands and thousands, but this man puts all their collections to shame. He literally has many thousands. They’re stacked in crates, stuffed in cupboards, littering the floor, everywhere you look there’s teapots. It think it would be fair to politely say that perhaps it’s a bit of an obsession!

I mentioned to him that I was looking for shui ping pots from the 80’s. After hunting around and finding a few here and a few there in different cupboards, he pulled out a cardboard box, filled with rolls of yellowed newspaper. The rolls were still sealed with their old, crumbling sellotape. Upon unwrapping a few, it became clear that we’d struck gold. They were filled with well made, late 80’s shui pings.

He said bought these in the late 80’s. They were cheap then! Indeed the newspaper is dated from 1993. Chances like this don’t come too often, so I quickly said I’d take them all.

Back at home, opening up the rolls, it was an interesting experience. These pots hadn’t even seen daylight for over 20 years! They were all in perfect condition, the clay has a lovely even sheen and the craftsmanship very good.

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