Monday, 15 August 2016

Teapot Story

This teapot by Gu Zingzhou was auction for a hefty 14.95 million RMB in 2013.

An article about this teapot appeared in the Chinese paper in 1987 in which a journalist reported that this teapot could fetch tens of thousands of RMB in auction. Well, why is this teapot so unique that collectors are willing to part company with such a large sum of money for a used old teapot. In fact there are five such teapots made by the legendary Gu Zing Zhou who then gave them to four famous artists of that time and he himself kept one. The paintings on the pots were done by the artists and Gu did the engravings.

It all began in the 1940s where Gu was introduced to the famous artists of the time, Wu Hufan, Jiang Hantin and Tang Yun (江寒汀唐云吴湖帆during a cultural exchange. They all admired each other's professions and shared their many experiences in areas of artistic innovations and creations. Then Gu suggested that he would made some teapots and the artists would paint on them to commemorate this cultural exchange. In 1948, Gu made 5 identical teapots and had them sent to the artist Tang Yun and Wu Hufan for art work to be painted on the pots. The pots were then returned to Gu for engraving to be carried out before the pots were fired in the kiln. The teapots were then given to the artists and Gu himself kept one.

One of the artists, Jiang Hantin (江寒汀) , related this story in the 80s when he had a teapot sharing session with collectors. He showed to the audience the teapot he had kept with him all this while. He mentioned that these teapots were very special and they represented some of the finest works of Go Zingzhou. If the teapots were put in auction they could easily fetch tens of thousands of RMB. Well, that was in 1987. Today Gu's teapots can easily fetch tens of millions of RMB in auction. One can see how much collectors are willing to pay for teapots made by Gu Zingzhou.

This one was sold for 12.23 millions in 2010.

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