There was a tea shop in kunming that was promoting a teapot to me. The owner started to show me all the qualities of the teapot and told me he used these similar teapots (more than a year)for sampling tea. I was keen on one teapot and managed to buy a teapot he has used for sampling ripe puerh tea instead. Look at the 1st 2 pix and the tea patin(stain).
Another unusual purchase was a chinese chess set made from compressed puerh tea leaves. The chess set weighs about 1.5 kg for the chess set with each chessmen made from compressed tea measuring about 3 inches across. I was reminded many times by the shopkeeper not to brew tea from the chess set as it is from extremely low quality tea. It really smells good though.