Staffordshire redware teapots

Korea, Europe, the Americas, and abroad
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WhisperingFrog192
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Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:42 am

Hello! I recently came into possession of a very old teapot, a Staffordshire redware teapot probably dated to around the middle-1700s. It's unglazed and from what I read was used to drink Wuyi teas before both Wuyi and unglazed teaware in general fell out of fashion during the 1800s. Does anybody have any experience with these? Would it be safe to brew tea in one? Thanks!
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.m.
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Sat Nov 05, 2022 2:28 pm

Wow, that's awesome. Looks to be in a good condition too.
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LeoFox
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Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:08 pm

My understanding is that a lot of this stuff was slipcast
WhisperingFrog192
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Sat Nov 05, 2022 6:14 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Sat Nov 05, 2022 3:08 pm
My understanding is that a lot of this stuff was slipcast
I think this one was wheel thrown
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Bok
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Sat Nov 05, 2022 9:05 pm

Should be safe to use, usually it’s the glaze that’s toxic not the clay itself.

Nice piece! Reminds me a bit of Kangxi era stuff, which is probably what served as inspiration for these.
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debunix
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Mon Nov 07, 2022 9:26 am

That’s a lovely pot. I don’t have a sense of scale from the photos: how much does it hold? Wondering here how it fits with the Asian tradition of smaller pots vs larger pots intended for western style/single infusion brewing for multiple people at once.
WhisperingFrog192
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Mon Nov 07, 2022 3:40 pm

debunix wrote:
Mon Nov 07, 2022 9:26 am
That’s a lovely pot. I don’t have a sense of scale from the photos: how much does it hold? Wondering here how it fits with the Asian tradition of smaller pots vs larger pots intended for western style/single infusion brewing for multiple people at once.
I measured it at around 280ml.
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debunix
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Mon Nov 07, 2022 5:39 pm

Small for Western brewing. Interesting.
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Bok
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Mon Nov 07, 2022 6:08 pm

debunix wrote:
Mon Nov 07, 2022 5:39 pm
Small for Western brewing. Interesting.
Not so small, if you look at other earlier Chinese imitation porcelain, or the Export-Porcelain from China itself. I think the larger sizes came a bit later when Western pottery let go of the imitation phase and created more original things.

In addition: You can very well serve multiple persons with Chinese style small pots. Either with a reduced cup size or by stacking (which is often done actually, when the numbers of guests exceeds 3-5). Stacking is not ideal in terms of preserving original flavour layers, but then so is serving to more than 3 people (in terms of appreciation of the tea itself).
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debunix
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Tue Nov 08, 2022 9:15 am

Very small in terms of the modern western teapot styles that I encountered on other people’s counters and shelves, or in shops. To the best of my knowledge, we never had one in our house until dad started drinking tea with his calligraphy friends.

It’s interesting to put that together with other information from topics about tea in history here and elsewhere, to consider what tea people were preparing in those vessels, and how they were sharing it.
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Bok
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Tue Nov 08, 2022 9:46 am

Fascinating indeed! I remember some large terracotta my mum used to have to make tea, some sort of cheap, very porous Yixing with a bamboo top handle…
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