Hexagonal teapot

Hexagonal teapot of ruddy brown unglazed Yixing clay; relief decorations of flower motifs, a landscape and a poem. One seal.

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Artist: Chen Hanwen (active mid-18th century)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, probably mid-18th century, or later
Unglazed stoneware
Yixing ware
H x W: 8.1 x 14.9 cm (3 3/16 x 5 7/8 in)
China, Jiangsu province, Yixing
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


calligraphy, China, flower, landscape, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), seal script, slip, stoneware, tea, Yixing ware
Provenance research underway.

Hexagonal teapot of ruddy brown unglazed Yixing clay; relief decorations of flower motifs, a landscape and a poem. One seal.




One seal


After the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1736-1795) visited Dragon Well, an area in southern China famous for its tea, he commissioned this teapot from a well-known Yixing potter. The poem on the pot was composed by the emperor and describes a storm he encountered on his way to Dragon Well. The calligraphy displays the rounded stroked characteristic of archaic seal script, which Qianlong, who favored antiquarianism, esteemed; the writing and the landscape design on the opposite side are built up in relief with slip (liquid clay). The calligraphy is positioned on the side of the pot that would face the emperor as he poured from it.  Its placement demonstrates the regard for calligraphy as the foremost visual art, more important that pictorial imagery.

Published References
  • Pang Yuanji. Hsu chai ming tao tu lu (Xuzhai ming tao tu lu) [Catalogue of Chinese Pottery in the Collection of Pang Yuan-chi]. 2 vols. Taipei. vol. 1: p. 41.
  • Gerard Tsang. Yixing tao yi [Yixing Pottery]. Hong Kong. p. 20, pl. 9.
  • Chung-kuo ch'a hu ta kuan. Taipei. p. 27, pl. 9.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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