I bought this Tea Art magazine (issue #57) while I was in Hong Kong last month. Though this is a very heavy 386 paged magazine that focused on Chinese tea and tea ware, I can say that more than 3/4 of the pages are advertisements taken out by tea manufacturers and dealers showcasing their products. This is not surprising as magazines are extremely dependent on advertising as the main source of revenue. I enjoy browsing through this colorful magazine reading the few articles inside while at the same time looking at the new products, packaging and new players in the Chinese tea industries. Pix 3 showed a Malaysian Chinese tea ad taken out by my new Malaysian tea friend. Yes, he calls himself Long Bean.
This latest issue had an article on vintage Japanese tetsubins (pix 3-4). I remembered one of my tetsubins I had purchased had rust issues…..Yes, I procrastinated on cleaning the tetsubin. I will get work on it soon and will share my cleaning adventures with my readers soon.
The other article in this magazine was on commemoration teapots. The writer chose the word 'commemoration' (I translate his Chinese literally) but I felt that these teapots are more like souvenirs or advertisement teapots. To me it is something that was given to dealers and clients as a gift while advertising a particular product. Example - if you buy a carton of soft drink and sometimes, you may get a free glass or mug with the product name on the cup. In this case, the name of the company or tea is engraved on the side on the teapot and these teapots were later distributed or given to dealers and customers. These teapots may sometimes have a company name or name of a tea or even an tea related event (exhibition or competition) engraved on the teapots. This article showcased some of these teapots that were produced from the late 1950s to the 1990s. You will have noticed that the teapots are 'shui ping hu' designs. I have a few of these teapots in my collection. There are sometimes flowers being engraved on one side of the teapot and the 'commemorative' words on the other side of the teapot. I was told by a teapot collector that the 'oolong' souvenir teapots came in a set of 4 flower design, each teapot has a specific flower design called 'xi cheun zhi' (if I remember correctly).
There are sometimes a numeric number engraved on the inside lid of the teapot. In the pix, there was a '6' on a lid and the author explained that the 6 meant the teapot was a 6 cup teapot that will pour out 6 cups of tea 15ml per cup implying this teapot was about 90ml in size. I owned a few 80s teapots whose label on the tea boxes were just '4-cup teapot' or '6 cup teapot' I am researching more about this and should be able to share more information in my later blogs.
Quality of the teapots are average. On the rougher side…..but nonetheless highly sought after by teapot collectors.