- Tea Knowledge
It is a remarkable property of precious metals to attract the eye, to be a magnet for the gaze. Unassuming in size, yet radiating a composed presence, this teapot has a simple, classic shape, with a level base, domed body, and short spout, rather letting its material (literally) shine. The little hammer marks on the surface prevent an overly ostentatious reflectivity, instead providing the sheen of a wind-stirred sea. Picking it up, the compact size and slight weight already suggest how pleasant it will be to use, the ebony handle carved to fit the fingers with a cheeky point and avoiding singing the fingers with the conductance of metal. Attention is even paid to the built-in ball filter, a fine silver lattice of overlapping circles.
A true luxury for the gongfu cha enthusiast, the material may shape the taste of the tea in a way similar to, but distinct from, that of unglazed clay. Likewise, each piece is unique, and its existing patina will gradually develop further with use, meaning the appearance of the surface may differ from the photos. Each piece comes with a certificate verifying its authenticity, as well as a set of polishing materials.
Silver teapots—an ancient art
Long before Yixing teaware started to be known for its fine forms and producing good tea, let alone became the sought-after collectors' items of today, the most valued material for teapots was silver, praised above all others by the Tang Dynasty tea master Lu Yu. Though kept alive in other parts of East Asia, the rise of ceramics saw the decline of the art of silversmithing in China, and it is only now being revived by studied masters using time-honoured techniques. Melted into a disc, the silver is hammered bit by bit into its final shape in around twenty-five rounds, requiring some 300,000 strokes by the artisan, followed by trimming, soldering, filing, and polishing each piece into the desired shape with a pleasing sheen. The final work is an unparalleled artefact of ancient tradition and everlasting beauty.