狮球壶 Caved and bought this lion ball pot that I was considering for my first Yixing.
Was swayed by the seller’s marketing speak: 这款剑流小狮球，型取清末外销南洋贡局款. Based on my pitiful Chinese, I understood it as: This sword-flow lion ball [pot] was made for export to Nanyang in the late Qing Dynasty.
Got excited because wow, Nanyang! Nominally Malaya/Singapore/Southeast Asia, but according to Pleco (my new best friend), also the “coastal provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong”, which is cool too.
Also attracted to it because I’m not about to buy a legit Qing pot any time soon, and the other modern lion ball pots I’ve seen all look weird. Often the lions look positively demonic (or like they’re melting), or they have the downturned spout, or they’re huge, or just oddly proportioned. The lion on this is really quite detailed, and doesn’t look too much either like a dog or a frog. It’s not a smiley cute lion like MarshalN’s, but it doesn’t look evil — appropriately guardian-y.
The pour is not bad, unfortunately not “sword-flow”. It feels fast, but it’s about 10s (first vid). Not quite as satisfyingly smooth as my first pot (second vid). The craftsmanship is ok, little rough on the inside with some bits not smoothed out; also it came with some dubious sparkly white powder on the inside…mica?
Everything else is really quite well done for the price, methinks (discounted too!) At first I figured it was half-handmade because the shop didn’t say full-handmade, but looking at the grooves of the body, the rim, and the bottom… clean lines but not super crisp, I can see where they’ve been worked over. So maybe not so high quality full-handmade? Surprisingly no certificate; I know they don’t really mean anything, but I thought they were de rigeur.
Buying tea ware is addictive and Instagram is awful because of FOMO. - 9 hours ago