How To Spot A Fake Purple-Sand Clay Teapot
Fake Purple-Sand Clay Teapots
Before Ren Fu Collection appeared on the scene, there were insufficient archaeologically excavated Purple-Sand clay teapots to provide reliable benchmarks for the dating of old Purple-Sand clay teapot.
There were no criteria to differentiate between an old Purple-Sand clay teapot and a forgery let alone a guideline to exact date it.
This issue is now history because, thanks to Ren Fu Collection’s foresight in amassing a huge treasure trove of archaeological material and information, sourced from excavations in countries along the maritime Silk route, from the 1970s to the 1990s, the once-thought-impossible solution is at hand.
But before we explain the solution we must ask what is an old Purple-Sand clay teapot? In a crude scientific sense, an old Purple-Sand clay teapot, also called Yixing stoneware teapot, is a piece of corroded or deteriorated stoneware.
According to Ciram Laboratory based in France, an art laboratory with an extensive background in archaeomaterial physics and chemistry, whose work is focused on investigating and analyzing works of art and objects of significant cultural heritage: each type of stone will have its own particular natural occurring phenomena of deterioration, even if preserve from bad weather.
This occurs in relation to its exposure to moisture, heat, and the development of vegetable and animal organisms. Various mineral phases are likely to be differently weathered, especially the most fragile phases when they are subjected to a more or less aggressive environment over a long period of time.
Why is the understanding of naturally occurring phenomena of deterioration or if you like corrosion processes, important in determining the antiquity of Purple-Sand clay teapot? The reason is old Purple-Sand clay teapot cannot be scientifically dated and therefore this is the next best dating-method. How then are we to spot a fake Purple-Sand clay teapot? The answer is a simple mantra of practice makes perfect as they say and one convenient way of doing it is to look on-line at the thousands of post – Guangxu period (1875 to present-day) Purple-Sand clay teapots in mainland Chinese auctions that have taken place in the last ten years or so and compare them to Ren Fu Collection’s huge collection of excavated pre-Daoguang period (1821 to late Ming) Purple-Sand clay teapots including the twenty-nine archaeologically excavated Purple-Sand clay teapots so far found in China and the hundreds of archaeologically sea-salvaged Purple-Sand clay teapots.
And when you get a picture of what a post-Guangxu period and pre-Daoguang period Purple-Sand clay teapots look like, you will know, in terms of corrosion, a new forgery or fake Purple-Sand clay teapot looks like a post-Guangxu period Purple-Sand clay teapot: shiny and in perfect conditions with minimal or no natural corrosion on it because naturally occurring deterioration or corrosion takes a long time to develop which in the case of pre-Daoguang period pots, it takes hundreds of years so that even if the pot is treated to look old by immersing it in acid and urine to create corrosion and calciferous growths and then buried in the earth to appear unearthed, the telltale signs of forgery will emerge intact when examined closely by an experienced eye.
When you have achieved this step in identifying an old pot, the next question is: how old is the pot? It’s an easy answer again: using all the archaeologically excavated or sea-salvaged Purple-Sand clay teapots as benchmarks for example by examining the pot’s form, shape, and style like the shape of lid knob, lid, spout, body, or even the joining line inside the pot to name a few, can tell you in which Niande or Emperor’s reign the pot was made.
To the question of passed down or unearthed Purple-Sand clay teapots without any provenance or proof, it is best to avoid them as they are usually based on conflicting and confusing guessworks, hypotheses, or even downright deceptions especially in the hands of fraudsters. We have the utmost confidence in our two-step method of exact dating which is based on our forty over years of experience in handling thousands of excavated Purple-Sand clay teapots, Santoh Zhuni teapots, and tea wares with recorded archaeological information and we believe it will serve learners well.
Last but not the least, we hope there will be more archaeological discoveries of Purple-Sand clay teapots in the future to add to the present volume of research material and information of which this book offers the most comprehensive and essential if not critical study of Pre-Daoguang Purple-Sand clay teapot.
Early Kangxi Chen Ming Yuan Purple-Sand Clay Teapot