How much would you pay for a teapot? A hundred dollars? A thousand? How about $2 million? Yes, there is a teapot that sold at auction for $2 million, making it one of the most valuable teapots in the world. Want to know more? Read on.
The $2 Million Dollar Teapot
Anyone who knows teapots will not be surprised to learn that this pricey teapot is a Yixing zisha teapot. It was made in 1948 of purple clay (the rarest kind) from the Yixing area of China by the master ceramicist Gu Jingzhou. The sale was at an auction in Beijing. The teapot is a typical squat shape with a handle and a spout that both seem seamless with the teapot’s body. As is typical for this type of teapot, it is adorned with notable calligraphic engravings by modern master Wu Hufan and bamboo carvings by painter Jiang Handing.
The £69,000 Teapot
The conjoining of history and tea into one teapot got the bidders excited at an auction in the UK. The teapot dates from around 1765 and has a message that makes it relevant even today. The winning bidder was an American, who fended off two London bidders in a hot and heavy contest where the bids were raised by $1,000 at a time. It is a rare teapot, and no similar ones were expected to come up at auction ever.
The Most Valuable Teapot Collection
The largest collection of teapots in private hands is said to be that of Maurice Cooper in Australia. He has stated that there are 4,000 teapots in the collection in total and about 3,000 teapots on display in his shop ‘By-gone Beautys’ in Leura in the Blue Mountains. An amazing collection amassed over 38 years, it includes a car-shaped teapot and a Humpty Dumpty teapot along with such high-value beauties as a set made in 1900 (commissioned by the emperor of Japan — 30 sets were made, and then the mold was destroyed) and that a Dutch owner of a similar set sold at Christies in 1998 for $21,000. Cooper says, though, that the value of the teapots is immaterial since he plans never to sell them.
The $2.18 Million Rare “Melon” Teapots
At first glance, these teapots look like they are ready to be transformed by a fairy godmother into coaches to take Cinderella to the Prince’s Ball. They certainly commanded a royal price at an auction in mid 2011. The teapots are marked with the distinctive iron-red seal of the Imperial Qianlong dynasty, were made in the 19th century, and were sold by a Scottish family at the Bonhams Fin Chinese Art sale in Glasgow, Scotland. Needless to say, jaws dropped when the hammer went down on that price.
Go digging in your attic, your basement, that old box of stuff the executor of Aunt Mable’s will sent you years ago, etc., and you might find another of the world’s most valuable teapots. Happy hunting!
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