Display Past event Friday, 28 April 2017 – Friday, 15 September 2017

Purple Clay: Chinese teapots for scholarly tastes

Discover the secrets of purple clay teapots from the Jiangsu province.

  • Friday, 28 April – Friday, 15 September 2017

  • The T.T Tsui Gallery - China

  • Free event

Purple Clay: Chinese teapots for scholarly tastes photo

This display showcases examples of purple clay teapots in the V&A collection, including notable recent acquisitions. It considers the rise of purple clay wares and the practice of including makers’ marks and inscriptions on teapots. It also explores the establishment of modern lineages of purple clay potters and their experimentations with modern design.

Teapots made of ‘purple clay’ (zisha) from Yixing, Jiangsu province, are particularly favoured by scholars in China. The hand- made, unglazed teapots are prized for their ability to retain heat and flavour. Despite its name, purple clay fires to red, pale yellow or purplish brown.