51 Chinese Round Teapot Styles: A Complete Collection

A comprehensive guide to the various types of round-shaped teapots found in Chinese culture. From the classic and traditional to the modern and innovative, this collection covers a wide range of styles, designs, and materials used in the making of these teapots. It provides insights into the cultural and historical significance of each style, making it a valuable resource for tea enthusiasts, collectors, and anyone interested in Chinese art and culture.

Chinese Teapot
Image: Dezhong teapot

1. Dezhong Teapot

The Dezhong teapot (德钟) is a timeless classic among teapots that has been passed down through the ages. It was originally crafted by Shao Daheng, a master pot maker during the Jiaqing period of the Qing Dynasty. This teapot’s design emphasizes the dignified and uncomplicated nature of purple clay, radiating a sense of simplicity and elegance that has garnered admiration worldwide.

Chinese "Shi Piao" Teapot (石瓢壶)
Image: Shi Piao Teapot

2. Shi Piao Teapot

Originally known as “Shi Cho,” this teapot took on the name “Shi Piao” (石瓢) during Gu Jingzhou’s period. The teapot features a trapezoidal body with a smooth and gentle curve, exhibiting a robust and uncomplicated shape. Its stability is enhanced by triangular-shaped supports that are secured by nails, creating a sense of lightness and steadiness. When viewed from the main angle, the pot’s horoscope-shaped body presents a combination of curved and straight lines, exuding a simple and generous demeanor.

Chinese Duo Qiu Teapot (掇球壶)
Image: Duo Qiu Teapot

3. Duo Qiu Teapot

The Duo Qiu Teapot (掇球) is a classic example of a geometric round teapot, and it stands as one of the most representative styles of purple clay pots. Its fundamental design consists of a pot button, a pot lid, and a pot body. The teapot is constructed using three spheres arranged in sequence—small, medium, and large. The main body of the pot resembles a large ball, while the lid takes the shape of a small ball. The teapot’s appearance gives the impression of a small ball resting on top of a large ball, which is why it is aptly named the ball pot.

Chinese Pan Teapot (潘壶)
Image: Pan Teapot

4. Pan Teapot

The Pan Teapot (潘壶) has its origins in the life of a Cantonese merchant named Pan Shicheng. In his previous occupation, Pan was involved in the salt trade and served as an official responsible for transporting salt to Guangdong and Guangxi. With a strong affinity for tea, the Pan family developed a specific design for their custom-made purple clay teapots. They would often engrave inscriptions on the rim of the lid while leaving the bottom and other areas unmarked. Due to the family’s reputation, this particular style of purple clay teapot came to be known as the “Pan pot” (潘壶) worldwide. Variations of the Pan Teapot include the “dwarf pans,” which have a flat, persimmon-shaped body, and the “zhong pans,” which possess a slightly taller body and a nearly oblate spherical shape.

Chinese The Ruyi Pot (如意壶 - Bless)
Image: The Ruyi Teapot

5. Ruyi Teapot

The Ruyi Teapot (如意 – Bless), named after the auspicious symbol “ruyi” that signifies good fortune, has been cherished by people throughout history. This traditional purple clay teapot is known for its upright and graceful appearance, embodying simplicity and elegance. It represents a classic style of purple clay teapots. The “Ruyi Pot” features a flying handle that complements the raised spout, creating a seamless and flowing line. The combination of a rounded body within a square shape adds to its charm, making it a beloved choice among tea enthusiasts.

Chinese Ban Yue (半月壶 - Haft moon) Teapot
Image: Ban Yue Teapot

6. Ban Yue Teapot

The Ban Yue (半月 – Haft moon) Teapot, designed by Chen Mansheng during the Qing Dynasty, stands as one of Mansheng’s 18 iconic teapot styles. Inspired by the poetic line “There is a bright moon on the sea, and the sky is at this moment” penned by Tang Dynasty poet Zhang Jiuling, this teapot captures the essence of beauty and allows for boundless artistic imagination. With the use of purple clay teapots, one can explore profound interpretations of life, culture, and artistic expressions.

Chinese Huaying teapot (华颖壶)
Image: Huaying teapot

7. Hua Ying Teapot

The Huaying teapot (华颖), crafted by Gu Jingzhou, is a testament to the evolution of the traditional “dumping the ball” teapot design. This exquisite work features a round handle, a round lid, and a round body, with the three circles elegantly stacked at the base. Inspired by a half-bloomed flower bud, Gu Lao’s vision led him to make deliberate choices and refinements, resulting in a shape that resonates with the Ruding pot from Chen Hongshou’s Eighteen Styles of Mansheng, created during the late Qing Dynasty.

In ancient Chinese characters, the character “Hua” did not exist, and it was later introduced as a replacement for “Hua.” In Huaying, the “Hua” carries the meaning of “flower,” symbolizing the display of floral beauty. This profound artistic concept brings joy and comfort to those who use the Huaying teapot, as it embodies the enchanting essence of flowers.

Chinese Meiren Jian teapot (美人肩)
Image: Meiren Jian teapot

8. Meiren Jian Teapot

The Meiren Jian teapot, also known as the “Beauty Shoulder Pot” (美人肩) due to its resemblance to a narrow and round female shoulder, lives up to its name. This elegant creation was crafted by Xu Youquan, a renowned pot maker from the Ming Dynasty. Inspired by the intricate design of delicate plum bottles, Xu Youquan modified and transformed it into the exquisite Beauty Shoulder Pot.

In the “Yangxian Tea Pot Fu,” it is described as follows: “The round beads rest in the palm, resembling precious Hepu pearls, while the fragrant tea it holds resembles nephrite jade. The warmth and aroma emanating from it are akin to the comforting touch of a bead in one’s palm, pleasing both to the eye and the senses.”

Chinese Jia Duan teapot (茄段壶)
Image: Jia Duan teapot

9. Jia Duan Teapot

The Jia Duan teapot (茄段壶), also known as the “Eggplant Pot,” draws inspiration from the ripe eggplant hanging from its branch. In ancient times, eggplants were referred to as “Luosu,” known as “Lu Vegetable” in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and as “dwarf melon” or “purple melon” in Cantonese. To achieve heightened artistic expression, the use of premium purple eggplant clay is recommended. The pot button, shaped like an eggplant, adds a lively and playful touch. It strikes a delicate balance between tension and poise, capturing a sense of airiness. The harmonious flow and handle complement each other seamlessly, creating a natural and smooth connection between stillness and movement.

Chinese Si Ting teapot (思亭壶)
Image: Si Ting teapot

10. Si Ting Teapot

The Si Ting teapot (思亭壶) emerged during the early Qing Dynasty and was created by Lu Siting, a renowned master of Zisha clay teapots during that era. Alongside other esteemed teapot masters like Yigong and Junde, Siting gained a remarkable reputation for crafting exquisite and practical Zhuni teapots in Yixing. As a result, Si Ting gradually became synonymous with the Yixing Zhuni teapot, with Junde and Siting representing specific pot shapes. The simple and elegant design of the Siting pot has been widely imitated by later generations.

Originally derived from a pear-shaped pot, the Si Ting pot boasts an elegant form that is ideal for brewing and enjoying tea. It has garnered immense adoration from tea enthusiasts, and there is a saying that suggests one cannot truly appreciate tea without holding a pear-shaped pot in hand.

Image: Xiangrui teapot

11. Xiang Rui Teapot

The Xiangrui teapot (祥瑞壶) embodies the essence of auspiciousness. Auspiciousness holds great significance for the Chinese people as it represents positive omens and blessings. In the “Zhuangzi,” it is described as “a white room where auspiciousness resides.” The concept of auspiciousness resonates with the Chinese mindset, encompassing their aspirations for good fortune, safety and peace for the nation, happiness for future generations, career success, wealth, longevity, and overall well-being. Purple clay teapots, being deeply rooted in Chinese culture, embrace the notion of auspiciousness and exhibit distinct national characteristics. When creating purple clay teapots with auspicious themes, artisans infuse their works with profound meanings, aiming to convey rich thoughts and artistic concepts within a limited space. Metaphors play a significant role in expressing the theme and content of auspiciousness in these teapots, establishing a solid foundation for the effective visual elements and overall design of the pots.

Chinese Yang Tong teapot (洋桶壶)
Image: Yang Tong teapot

12. Yang Tong Teapot

The Yang Tong teapot (洋桶壶) is a widely recognized style of purple clay teapot. Originating in the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China, it is renowned for its simplicity, practicality, and portability. This teapot seamlessly blends artistic elements with everyday functionality, making it a favorite among collectors and enthusiasts of purple clay teapots. Over time, it has gained the status of a classic in the realm of traditional Zisha craftsmanship. The term “foreign” in its name refers to the historical context of tea sets being exported during its early days.

Chinese Manson Baina teapot (曼生百纳)
Image: Manson Baina teapot

13. Manson Baina teapot

The Manson Baina teapot (曼生百纳) is part of the renowned collection known as the Eighteen Styles of Mansheng. These exquisite teapots were designed by Chen Hongshou, a Qing Dynasty calligrapher and seal carver who was esteemed as one of the “Eight Masters of Xiling”. As a result, these teapots are often referred to as Mansheng pots or Mansheng Eighteen Styles, paying tribute to the esteemed artist behind their creation.

Chinese Mansheng Jizhi teapot (曼生汲直)
Image: Manson Jizhi Teapot

14. Manson Jizhi Teapot

The Manson Jizhi teapot, also known as the Mansheng Jizhi teapot (曼生汲直), represents one of the distinctive styles within the Mansheng pot collection, particularly prevalent during the Daoguang period. Notably, among the preserved vessels crafted by Yang Pengnian and adorned with inscriptions by Chen Mansheng, there are several examples in the cylindrical shape. The name of this particular teapot draws inspiration from Ji An, a minister during the reign of Emperor Wu in the Han Dynasty. Ji An was known for his upright character and his penchant for providing direct counsel to the court. His reputation as an outspoken advisor earned him the moniker “Jizhi” from the general public, becoming a role model for future generations of candid and forthright officials.

Chinese Hengyun teapot (横云)
Image: Hengyun Teapot

15. Hengyun Teapot

The Eighteen Styles of Mansheng, a collection of teapot designs, were created by Chen Hongshou, a renowned calligrapher and seal carver during the Qing Dynasty, who was among the esteemed “Eight Masters of Xiling”. As a result, they are commonly referred to as the “Mansheng Pot” or the “Mansheng Eighteen Styles”. One of these styles is the Hengyun teapot (横云).

Chinese Mansheng Cheyue Teapot (曼生却月)
Image: Mansheng Cheyue Teapot

16. Mansheng Cheyue Teapot

The Mansheng Cheyue Teapot (曼生却月) bears the inscription: “When the moon is full, it will wane. Placed in a corner, it becomes my guiding principle.” This conveys the idea that after reaching its fullest, the moon gradually diminishes. By placing this “Queyue Pot” next to me as a constant reminder, it serves as a personal motto.

Chinese Mansheng Tianji Teapot (曼生天鸡壶)
Image: Mansheng Tianji Teapot (曼生天鸡壶)

17. Mansheng Tianji Teapot

The Mansheng Tianji Teapot (曼生天鸡壶), also known as the “Chicken Head Pot,” gained popularity during the Wei, Jin, and early Tang Dynasties. These teapots come in various materials, including celadon and ceramic. They derive their name from the spout, which is shaped like a chicken’s head. On one side of the pot’s shoulder, there is the chicken head, while the other side resembles a tail, resulting in a symmetrical design from front to back. Most chicken heads are solid, although in the Western Jin Dynasty, they were sometimes hollow to allow for pouring, or they were purely ornamental, featuring handles on the shoulders and a slightly bulging belly at the base.

Chinese Fang Gu teapot (仿古壶)
Image: Fang Gu teapot

18. Fang Gu Teapot

The Fang Gu teapot (仿古壶) draws inspiration from the ancient battlefield drum. These drums were used to boost morale when two armies faced each other.

Traditional Chinese drums, most of which originated in the Central Plains, had over 20 different types before the Qin and Han Dynasties. Although they varied in size and height, they all shared a common feature of having a thick waist.

Chinese Xishi teapot (西施壶)
Image: Xishi teapot

19. Xishi Teapot

The Xishi teapot (西施壶), also known as the Daoba Xishi, originally had the name Wendan pot, reflecting the elegant style of the Wendan pot. Its design was inspired by Xi Shi, a legendary beauty, and its complete name was “Xi Shi milk pot.” It is often referred to simply as “Xi Shi” or “Xi Shi milk.” The teapot has a short and slightly thick body with a handle shaped like inverted ears, a lid with a cut-off design, and a retracted bottom near the base. In later generations, the name “Xi Shi milk” was considered indecent, leading to its renaming as the “Inverted Xi Shi pot.”

Chinese Duozhi teapot (掇只壶)
Image: Duozhi teapot

20. Duozhi Teapot

The Duozhi teapot (掇只壶), also known as the Duozi pot, derives its name from its resemblance to a container called “Duozi” used for seasoning and candy in Yixing. The term “zi” represents the sound of “entering.” In Mandarin Chinese, the sound of “entering” is no longer pronounced as “zi” but as “duozhi,” which is actually a linguistic mistake. The Duozhi pot was created by Shao Daheng, a master pot maker in Yixing.

Chinese Qinguan teapot (秦权壶)
Image: Qinguan teapot (秦权壶)

21. Qinguan Teapot

The Qinguan teapot (秦权壶) is named after the weighing mounds used during the time of Emperor Qin Shihuang, who standardized weights and measures in ancient China. The teapot is shaped like these weighing mounds. The term “Quan” refers to a weighing mound or hammer used as a movable weight in ancient scales, made of materials such as copper, iron, pottery, porcelain, or stone.

Chinese Shui Ping Teapot (水平壶)
Image: Shui Ping Teapot

22. Shui Ping Teapot

The Shui Ping Teapot (水平壶), also known as the “horizontal pot,” has an interesting name. It is closely associated with the Gongfu tea-drinking tradition in South China. When brewing Gongfu tea, a small teapot is filled with a generous amount of tea leaves and hot water, and the lid is closed. Since there are many tea leaves in the small pot, a smaller amount of hot water is used, making it challenging to brew the tea properly. To overcome this, after brewing, the teapot is placed in a tea sea or tea bowl, and boiling water is poured over the surface of the teapot multiple times. This helps the tea flavor to brew more easily. Sometimes, due to the practice of pouring hot water onto the teapot, it floats upright and remains stable without tilting or leaning, appearing as flat as a horizontal plane. Hence, the name “Horizontal Pot.”

Chinese Handuo teapot (汉铎壶)
Image: Handuo teapot

23. Handuo Teapot

The Handuo teapot (汉铎壶) is a classic shape among purple clay teapots, inspired by the ancient utensil called Handuo.

The shape of the Handuo purple clay teapot finds its origin in the Han Dynasty. Handuo refers to a small bell-like musical instrument, similar to the Yongzhong of the Western Zhou Dynasty. The Handuo teapot resembles the shape of the Duo instrument but on a smaller scale. The Duo instrument had tongues made of either copper or wood. The ones with copper tongues were called “Jinduo,” and those with wooden tongues were called “Mu Duo.”

Chinese Li Xing Teapot (梨形壶; pear-shaped purple clay teapot)
Image: Li Xing Teapot

24. Li Xing Teapot

The Li Xing Teapot (梨形壶; pear-shaped purple clay teapot) is a classic style known for its pear-like shape. As the name suggests, the teapot is designed to resemble a pear, with a rounded and bulging belly and a gracefully curved spout. The structure of the teapot is well-defined and visually appealing.

Chinese Niu Cai Teapot (牛盖壶: cow-covered pot)
Image: Niu Cai Teapot

25. Niu Cai Teapot

The Niu Cai Teapot (牛盖壶: cow-covered pot) is a highly regarded and traditional type of purple clay teapot. It incorporates the element of a cow in an exaggerated and artistic manner. The lid of the teapot is shaped like a cow’s back with undulating lines, and the high lid resembles the head of a cow. The sides of the lid are designed to resemble cow nostrils. The teapot is divided into upper and lower layers, and the handle of the lid is formed using the shape of the cow’s nostrils. This unique design element gives it the name “cow lid.”

Chinese Ruding Teapot (乳鼎壶)
Image: Ruding Teapot

26. Ruding Teapot

True to its name, the Ruding Teapot (乳鼎壶) is a vessel that imitates the ancient “Ding” shape. The Ding, an important type of ancient bronze cooking vessel, was predominantly made of bronze and had a round body with three legs and two handles (although there were also rectangular and four-legged variations). It was widely used during the Shang and Zhou dynasties and remained popular even during the Han Dynasty.

Chinese Wendan Teapot (文旦壶)
Image: Wendan Teapot

27. Wendan Teapot

The Wendan Teapot (文旦壶) emerged during the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties. Its shape bears resemblance to that of the Xishi and Guifei teapots. The name “Wendan” can be interpreted as follows: “Wen” represents softness, appearance, and tolerance, while “Dan” signifies the role of a woman in opera. An old inscription found on the Wendan Teapot poses the question: “Why should the Phoenix praise the imperial tea?” Additionally, historical records mention the “Wendan fruit” as delicious, referring to Jiangpu orange and Yunmeng pomelo. This suggests that the creativity behind the Wendan Teapot may have drawn inspiration from the pomelo fruit. Wendan pomelos are known for their golden yellow color and their delightful blend of sweetness and sourness when consumed. The ripe fruit’s exquisite flavor mirrors the subtle and enduring emotions of a woman. Through its imitation of nature, this purple clay teapot embodies the grace and femininity of ancient times. Nowadays, variations of Wendan, Xishi, and Guifei teapots abound, each interpreted in their own unique way, with differences in height, width, plumpness, and slimness. Consequently, distinguishing the natural names of these teapots has become somewhat challenging.

Chinese Xiaoying teapot (笑樱壶)
Image: Xiaoying teapot

28. Xiao Ying Teapot

The Xiaoying teapot (笑樱壶) traces its origins back to the Ming Dynasty and is considered one of the classic teapot styles. Renowned for its robust presence, the Xiaoying pot has gained widespread popularity and admiration. Its form exudes a sense of weightiness and solidity, reflecting an uncompromising and resolute character. Enthusiastic experts have described its defining feature, Chongming, with great passion, stating, “Behind its cool exterior lies a passionate heart. Chongming exudes enthusiasm and fearlessness, with a rich and strong flavor that is both warm and delightful. It showcases brightness and decisiveness, embodying the essence of a true hero within the teapot.”

Chinese Tang Po teapot (汤婆壶)
Image: Tang Po teapot (汤婆壶)

29. Tang Po Teapot

The Tang Po teapot (汤婆壶) takes its name from the “Tang Po,” a flat, oblate vessel made of copper, tin, or porcelain. It featured a threaded opening on top, filled with hot water and tightly secured with a nut. It was then placed in a cloth bag of similar size and tucked under a quilt to keep warm. The term “Soup” refers to boiling water, while “Pozi” humorously refers to accompanying sleep. Another name for it is “Tang Yuzi.” As described by Zhao Yi during the Qing Dynasty, “people nowadays use copper and tin utensils to hold boiling water and place them in quilts to warm their feet, which is called Tang Pozi.” The design of these utensils inherits the simplicity and sturdiness of the Ming Dynasty, while the teapot itself exhibits exquisite simplicity, surpassing all expectations with its practicality.

Chinese Bangua teapot (曼生半瓜 or "Half Melon Pot")

30. Mansheng Bangua Teapot

The Bangua teapot (曼生半瓜 or “Half Melon Pot”) is a classic style among Mansheng purple clay teapots. Legend has it that on an unbearably hot day, a servant was about to slice a pickled melon but was interrupted. Instead, the servant cut the melon in half, leaving it partly upright and partly resting on the table. The servant contemplated the prostrate half-melon and saw potential in its unique form: the stalk serving as the pot’s lid, and the vine as its handle. With the addition of more water, a new pot was born. This ingenious design gave rise to the Bangua teapot.

Chinese Hepan teapot (合盘壶)
Image: Mansheng Hepan Teapot

31. Mansheng Hepan Teapot

The Hepan teapot (合盘壶) belongs to the prestigious collection of Mansheng’s eighteen styles. These eighteen styles are an invaluable legacy bequeathed by Chen Mansheng to the future generations of Zisha pottery enthusiasts.

Chinese Mansheng Liyin Teapot (笠荫壶)
Image: Mansheng Liyin Teapot (笠荫壶)

32. Mansheng Liyin Teapot (笠荫壶)

Having a deep affinity for Buddhism, Mansheng found solace in creating Buddhist-inspired teapots. He paid meticulous attention to every detail. One scorching summer noon, while traveling in humble attire, Mansheng, feeling hurried, hungry, and parched, stumbled upon a small mountain shop. Seeking respite, he sat down, sipped tea, and instantly felt refreshed. A monk sitting at the adjacent table observed Mansheng’s actions, nodded approvingly, and approached him. The monk respectfully uttered, “In this life, the almsgiver shares a connection with the Buddha. Amitabha Buddha.”

Chinese Mansheng Ruou teapot (乳瓯壶)
Image: Mansheng Ruou teapot (乳瓯壶)

33. Mansheng Ruou Teapot

Mansheng Ruou teapot (乳瓯壶), also known as Ruding, is a revered teapot that has been cherished for centuries. Its origins can be traced back to the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty. Chen Mansheng, a renowned master of purple clay, brought it to prominence, endearing it to tea aficionados far and wide.

Mansheng Ruou teapot takes inspiration from the shape of a woman’s body. Chen Mansheng ingeniously incorporated the essence of Ruouu pottery into his purple clay designs. By infusing his own creative ideas, making subtle modifications, and inscribing meaningful inscriptions on the pots, Mansheng elevated the Ruou teapot to become one of the famous eighteen styles associated with his name, shining brightly in the annals of Zisha pottery history.

Chinese Mansheng Zhu Chu teapot (曼生柱础壶)
Image: Mansheng Zhu Chu teapot (曼生柱础壶)

34. Mansheng Zhu Chu Teapot

Mansheng Zhu Chu teapot (曼生柱础壶) combines the attributes of a pillar foundation with the expressive power of purple clay. It is one of the “Eighteen Styles of Mansheng” crafted by Chen Hongshou, a renowned literati during the Qianjia period. The design draws inspiration from the “pillar foundation,” which served as a sturdy base for supporting large pillars in ancient buildings. The teapot’s form exudes stability, generosity, reservation, and introversion, perfectly aligning with the aesthetic pursuits of ancient literati.

Chinese Jing Lan teapot (井栏壶: well fence teapot)
Image: Jing Lan teapot

35. Jing Lan Teapot

The Jing Lan teapot (井栏壶: well fence teapot) derives its name from its resemblance to a well fence. Invented by Chen Mansheng, it is a classic traditional teapot shape characterized by its versatility in design. There are various styles of well fence teapots, with Mansheng’s version being particularly noteworthy.

Chinese The Zhou Pan teapot (周盘壶)
Image: The Zhou Pan teapot (周盘壶)

36. Zhou Pan Teapot

The Zhou Pan teapot (周盘壶) is a common and classic teapot among Mansheng’s eighteen styles. Mansheng sought to embody the essence of a Zhou plate in the form of a teapot, symbolizing a way of life.

Chinese Hehuan teapot (合欢壶: acacia teapot)
Image: Hehuan teapot

37. Hehuan Teapot

The Hehuan teapot (合欢壶: acacia teapot) holds a special place in Mansheng’s heart and is considered one of the classic teapots among his eighteen styles. The inscription on the Hehuan teapot reads: “Try Yangxian tea and boil Hejiang water. All disciples of Poxian are filled with joy.”

This teapot represents a masterpiece combining the talents of Chen Mansheng, the master of teapots, and Yang Pengnian. The seal, calligraphy, rhetoric, and style are harmoniously unified, emanating a profound scholarly ambiance.

Chinese Rong Tian teapot (容天壶)
Image: Rong Tian teapot (容天壶)

38. Rong Tian Teapot

The Rong Tian teapot (容天壶) draws inspiration from the corpulent figure of the Arhat in Buddhism, with its name signifying the ability to accommodate all things in the world with a big belly. It was initially created by Lu Yaochen, a master of Chinese arts and crafts. The early versions of the teapot had a low profile, which later evolved into a taller shape. The charm of this teapot is truly difficult to capture and can only be experienced firsthand. The pot features a slightly shortened neck atop its well-rounded body, and the lid takes on a hemispherical shape, adding a touch of simplicity and childlike appeal. It boasts excellent pouring capabilities, providing convenience and comfort during use. Visually, it exudes stability, generosity, and a profound sense of simplicity.

Chinese Mansheng Banpiao teapot (曼生半瓢: half-ladle teapot)
Image: Mansheng Banpiao teapot (曼生半瓢: half-ladle teapot)

39. Mansheng Banpiao Teapot

The Mansheng Banpiao teapot (曼生半瓢: half-ladle teapot), also known as the Mansheng pot, features a body shaped like a half-ladle with a short and straight spout and a ring-shaped handle. This unique teapot is a collaborative creation between Yang Pengnian, a renowned pot maker from Yixing, Jiangsu Province, and Chen Mansheng, an epigrapher and magistrate of Liyang County neighboring Yixing, during the Qing Dynasty. It serves as an important reference for studying Chen Mansheng’s pottery craftsmanship.

Chinese Hanwa teapot (汉瓦壶)
Image: Hanwa teapot

40. Hanwa Teapot

The Hanwa teapot (汉瓦壶) belongs to a category of rounded vessels that have been imitated by various artists throughout history. However, Yang Pengnian’s earlier creation of the Hanwa purple sand teapot left a lasting impression. This cylindrical teapot boasts an exquisite top and bottom, with a relatively straight and short spout. Its bridge-style handle features a slight curve, and the surface of the button is adorned with begonia patterns. The clay used is firm and exhibits a dark red sand color. The lid of the teapot has a round and irregular shape that can be securely fastened by twisting the knob, allowing the entire pot to be easily opened.

Chinese Long Dan teapot (龙旦壶: dragon's egg teapot)
Image: Long Dan teapot

41. Long Dan Teapot

The Long Dan teapot (龙旦壶: dragon’s egg teapot), also known as the “Longdan Pot,” derives its name from its resemblance to a dragon egg, while Wendan is named after the Wendan pomelo. The dragon egg teapot is an ancient style originating from the Ming Dynasty. Wu Meiding’s “Ode to Yangxian Minghu” describes it as “round like a ball, with a slightly vertical body like a dragon egg.” It is said that this style existed during the Ming Dynasty, and its imitation by Qing artisans is evidence of its enduring popularity. The Long Dan teapot represents the earliest manifestation of the dragon egg style.

Chinese Pao Zun teapot (匏尊壶)
Image: Pao Zun teapot (匏尊壶)

42. Pao Zun Teapot

The Pao Zun teapot (匏尊壶) is a purple clay pot with a gourd-shaped body, belonging to Mansheng’s eighteen styles. The pot’s round shape, gentle lines, and simple appearance evoke the agricultural spirit and rustic charm of ancient times. The use of gourds as a design element adds a touch of natural elegance to this teapot.

Chinese Shang Xin Qiao teapot (上新桥壶)
Image: Shang Xin Qiao teapot

43. Shang Xin Qiao Teapot

The Shang Xin Qiao teapot (上新桥壶) is a timeless creation by Gu Jingzhou, designed for mass production in the 1960s and has since become a beloved classic. Its lid features a bridge-shaped button, resembling a small bridge over rippling water, which may be the inspiration behind its name, “Shangxinqiao pot.”

Chinese Xian Yuan teapot (线圆壶: threaded round pot)

44. Xian Yuan Teapot

The Xian Yuan teapot (线圆壶: threaded round pot) is a revered classic that emerged in the 1940s. Among the various round pot styles, it stands as a pinnacle of craftsmanship that has evolved and matured over generations of artists. Its enduring appeal has sparked continuous imitation and interpretation.

Image: Xu Bian teapot

45. Xu Bian Teapot

The Xu Bian teapot (虚扁壶: flat pot) traces its origins back to the Spring and Autumn Period. An archaeological discovery in Longxian County unearthed a copper flat pot measuring 20 cm in height and width, which was used as a wine vessel. This finding provides evidence of the flat pot’s presence in Central Plains culture during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period.

Chinese Yu Zhao teapot (鱼罩壶: fish cover pot)
Image: Yu Zhao teapot (鱼罩壶: fish cover pot)

46. Yu Zhao Teapot

The Yu Zhao teapot (鱼罩壶: fish cover pot) is a traditional purple clay pot characterized by its unique fish-like shape. The design of the pot resembles a fish cover, providing stability when placed. The fish cover pot features flat shoulders, a tall neck, folded shoulders, an arch bridge-shaped button, a flat lid, a bell-shaped cap, a straight spout, and a square handle. The overall shape of the teapot is simple yet vibrant, exuding an ancient and mysterious charm. It combines strength and elegance, displaying a distinctive and personal touch. With its profound meaning and rhythmic appeal, resembling a fish cover, it earned the name “fish cover pot.” There are various variations of this style, but it is skillfully mastered by the artisans of the Hujia lineage.

Chinese Mansheng Dian He teapot (曼生钿合: Mansheng tin box)
Image: Mansheng Dian He teapot

47. Mansheng Dian He Teapot

The Mansheng Dian He teapot (曼生钿合: Mansheng tin box) is also known as the “Tianhe Pot.” Its original shape resembles a decorative dressing box adorned with golden flowers and millet patterns. Chen Mansheng ingeniously transformed this concept into a purple clay pot design. It’s not difficult to guess that this teapot serves as a symbol of courtship or admiration between men and women.

Chinese Mansheng Jingwa teapot (曼生镜瓦: Mansheng mirror tile pot)
Image: Mansheng Jingwa teapot

48. Mansheng Jingwa Teapot

The Mansheng Jingwa teapot (曼生镜瓦: Mansheng mirror tile pot) gets its name from its composition of Han tile and bronze mirror. It is one of the “Eighteen Forms of Mansheng.” In Chinese traditional culture, mirrors hold great significance with their rich history. Scholars draw inspiration from them, while beauties capture their reflections in their writings. Mirrors have the power to reflect true emotions and unveil hidden complexities. Prior to the advent of bronze mirrors, people used water-filled vessels like mirrors or pottery pots for self-portraits. During the Warring States Period, the use of bronze mirrors became prevalent, serving as tools for self-reflection among scholars and individuals striving for self-improvement.

Chinese Mansheng Pao Gua teapot (曼生匏瓜: Pao melon pot)
Image: Mansheng Pao Gua teapot

49. Mansheng Pao Gua

The Mansheng Pao Gua teapot (曼生匏瓜: Pao melon pot) is a purple clay pot featuring the shape of a melon or gourd. It is one of the eighteen styles of Mansheng. The Pao Gua pot showcases a rounded form with soft lines and a simple appearance, reflecting the agricultural spirit and rural aesthetics of ancient times.

Chinese Mansheng Shi Bian teapot (曼生石扁
Image: Mansheng Shi Bian teapot (曼生石扁)

50. Mansheng Shi Bian Teapot

The Mansheng Shi Bian teapot (曼生石扁: Mansheng stone flat pot) was designed by Chen Hongshou, a renowned calligrapher and seal carver during the Qing Dynasty, who was among the “Eight Masters of Xiling.” It is commonly referred to as the “Mansheng Pot” or “Mansheng Eighteen Styles.”

Chinese Tang Yu teapot (唐羽壶: Tang feather pot)
Image: Tang Yu teapot (唐羽壶: Tang feather pot),

51. Tang Yu Teapot

The Tang Yu teapot (唐羽壶: Tang feather pot), also known as a side handle pot, is a popular teapot style. It takes inspiration from the elegant wine goblets of the Tang Dynasty’s royal court. The shape of the teapot closely resembles those goblets. It’s worth noting that in the Tang Dynasty, tea was not consumed in its present form. Instead, tea balls and tea cakes similar to today’s Tuocha were used and slowly brewed. This brewing process is akin to the preparation of coffee today. Consequently, the handle of the Tang Yu teapot is slender, evoking a sense of soaring with wings. The creative design can also be seen as an homage to Lu Yu’s Tea Classic from the Tang Dynasty. Holding this teapot in your hand transports you back in time, allowing you to revisit the Tang style and relish the enchanting ambiance of history.

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