Does anyone have experience buying teapots from the ebay store
They have a large selection of yixing listed as pre-1960 at what look
like reasonable prices, even allowing for ~$30 shipping. They also
seem to have decent feedback and several repeat customers. Everything
I read about buying Yixing--old or new--screams caveat emptor, but some
of those pots look pretty neat to me.
I was looking at his history to figure out if he partook of the common
Chinese practice of setting up fake ebay accounts to give himself high
ratings, and it's not totally clear. He's either doing that or
constantly selling pots to the same people. I would be careful, this
could be a scam.
I personally won't buy any pot sight unseen, unless it's a vendor who
will definitely take it back with no questions asked. Given the high
costs, shipping and otherwise.... don't do it, especially if the pot is
expensive. If it's cheap and you don't mind if it turns out to be
crap, then it's not that big a deal, but given the age range you're
quoting... that doesn't seem likely.
If you look at one pot after another you quickly notice that the
griminess (which is despicably bad) is very uniform and black. I
suspect that these are (badly) antiqued. Even if they were real, I
can't think of any way they'd get that black without totally neglecting
hygiene. Would you really want to brew tea in those? Nasty.
Just as Marshal said, buying yixing over the Internet is like gambling:
you should only pay what you can comfortably afford to lose. I would
advise that you keep your expectations low and be pleasantly surprised
if the item turns out to be good.
I've ordered from maybe four or five Mainland eBay vendors now, and the
majority of them provide substandard goods (note, Scott @ Yunnan
Sourcing is, as most people on here already know, very decent).
About your vendor in particular: I've had a quick look at some of the
"1900-1960s" pots and I'm not convinced. A forty year old pot is going
to cost you much more than that, and, well, they just don't look forty
years old. :)
It's striking that no contributor to this lest can vouch for this guy.
I've bought a few pots on eBay over the years. A couple turned out to
be decent brewing vessels and wound up as gifts, Others dripped or had
other functional problems and wound up in the trash. None were great
bargains, though all were cheap. The idea of picking up a decent
40-year-old pot for $60 is very appealing, but I guess I'll stick with
vendors like Brian Wright, who I know through experience or reputation.
Thanks to all who weighed in!
There is also the fact that he's selling Meng Ku, Fu Hai, and Lang He
products as "Menghai Tea Factory" stuff. While I think that Fu Hai and
Lang He are in Menghai county, Meng Ku definitely isn't.
The reason I think that the vintage (at least) of the Dayi wrapped cake
is fake is that the buds are too brightly silvery and the cake is just
too green to be 7 years old. Since my '99 7542s are zhong cha label
wrapped, I just assumed that they hadn't started with the dayi label
export products, and by the mid 90s there were already wrappers that
look similar to the Dayi wrappers we see today. I know for a fact that
1999 has lots of Dayi cakes, although I can't say if this one is or is
not a fake.
I have bought 9 pots from Anling and found them to be excellent,
although I couldn't verify their authenticity. He will sell you a
certificate of authentification if you ask for it. At least three seem
to be of pure zhuni clay, and a few other a quality clay mix. They
were all very grimy but treatment with denture cleaner, toothbrush and
q-tips cured them all. One is my best sheng puer pot, another brews
delicious da hong pao, and a third is ok, really high-pitched ring with
handmade indicators but I haven't figured out what tea works best in
it. It has a flat shape. A fourth, thicker-walled is the one I use
for high-mountain taiwanese oolongs and it really brings out their
aroma. I have gifted 2 of the pots, and three are too big for daily
use so they are sitting around my house.
What you can't tell from the pictures, but what Anling will answer to
you if you ask, is how thick the walls are of the pot.
I had a great experience with him. But get ready to spend time
The question is whether or not the grime is real grime from 40 years of
use, or is it more like the slightly black wax they use to make the pot
Does the pot feel "waxy" when you pick it up when it first arrives?
I will try and order one teapot - the I will let you know, what do I
I have about 10 yixing teapots, artisan and better quality, bought
directly in china by a vendor I believe, so I think, I can see the
quality of the pot.
I went ahead and took the plunge on two old "zhuni" pots that will run
a bit less than $60 each with combined shipping. I'll report the
results. I've seen references to using denture cleaner and dilute
chlorine bleach for sanitizing and "resetting" old Yixing teapots.
Awhile back, there was discussion in this group of using white vinegar
for the purpose, with at least one contributor reported a residual
vinegar smell. Anyone have experience with more than one of these
My method for cleaning very dirty yixing pots is to scrub with baking
soda and a soft cloth to remove the grime and boil like crazy in
distilled water (better solvent action but not critical) through about
3 changes of water. This has worked on a number or old/forgotten pots
I've had to clean.
The denture cleaner sounds interesting as long as it's not the minty
The pots were not waxy, they were filthy dirty! The kind of grime that
seems burnt on and drip-shaped. Some were downright scary! Which to my
mind explained why they were so cheap. But lo and behold this denture
product (non minty) called Sparkle that I bought on the internet did
the trick. You have to use boiling water and put cleaner inside and
outside the pot overnight. Then do a rinse soak in hot water for 8
hours. I didn't, which meant repeated brushings, and on some pots I
even had to introduce whitening toothpaste to really get the grime out.
Baking soda would have been much better! But they all got clean, I
shined a flashlight inside and they were restored. I think that wax
wouldn't have responded to denture cleaner the way that this stuff did.
It also didn't leave any residue on my brush bristles, which is
another reason I don't think it's wax.
Once I cleaned the pots they were really nice. Not all of them were
equally good quality but I felt pleased that at least 3 were winners
for my own personal daily use, so at less than $350 for 3 or more good
pots (counting the other six as possible gifts for others) I felt
alright. I also bought a zhuni from Stephane Erler and got similar
results from my teapots. And lastly, none were as bad as the worst
yixing pots that I've bought from vendors.