This is a nice Chinese ceramic Yi XIng teapot. The decorations make the pot itself look like a square piece of wood, complete with wood grain. The handle is shaped like an axe. The artist's inscription can be seen on the bottom of the pot.
Yi Xing (pronounced ee-shing) teapots first appeared during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) in the Yi Xing region of China, located in the Jiangsu province, about 120 miles northwest of Shanghai. The Jiangsu province is the world's only source for the unique clay from which Yi Xing teapots are made, called purple or red clay. Purple clay's unique properties make it ideal for brewing tea. The inside of Yi Xing teapots are always left uncoated. The porous nature of purple clay absorbs the flavor, smell, and color of the tea that is brewed in it. Over time, Yi Xing teapots develop a seasoning from repeated use, making the tea brewed from a well-used teapot a special treat. For this reason, most people will dedicate a single flavor of tea to a specific Yi Xing teapot, so that the seasoning is not disrupted by cross-brewing.
The teapot measures 6"L x 3.5"W x 4.5"H. The teapot comes in a padded Chinese gift box.
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