The inscriptions of Yixing purple clay teapots are differ in thousands ways. It is quite difficult to do research on this. There is no inscription in early period of purple clay teapots, appeared until Late-Ming Dynasty. Because of the participation of refined scholars, the haphazardry of inscription was up to a high degree,it changed a lot from the early years to the later years in life when specific to each person.
People from ancient times had the seals and engraved inscriptions, some engraved inscriptions are serious, some of them are casual, not very hard for distinguishing. But the vast number of seal inscriptions left by famous ancient writers, scholars and calligraphers of various dynasties are hard to make a distinction, even the printed or the engraved characters. Because of the differences of materials, it leads to varieties of inscriptions which engraved on the clay base. Stone seals, used the knife as a pen, engraved naturally, since it is clear no matter what kind of style. The traditional wooden inscriptions, most of them are regular script, the effects are so different with each other, uneven and alternate with of made false or true. Besides, the different materials produced different effects,after fired,it sill be a little different on size.
To differentiate the inscription of purple clay teapots, it requires knowledge in different aspects, you should know about the potters, and his period, the style of his works, he was good at what kind of pot art,then combine with the inscriptions, recognize carefully, accumulate day by day and month by month, it will raise your ability to identification.
Category of inscriptions
The inscriptions of purple clay teapots are carved the name of maker in the early time, such as several pots with the Dabin's inscriptions in archaeological finds such as "Dabin", "Shi Dabin made",etc. Accompany with the developments of making teapots, the participation of refined scholars, the haphazardry of inscription also changed a lot. Because of the need in royal court, they made a set of purple clay teapots decorated the colour enamels on the bottom of these with inscription as" made in Kangxi drive".
In the late-Qing Dynasty and early of 20th century, some professional corporations and shops sold the Yixing pottery internal loitered trade mark one after another, such as "Jin Ding Brand",etc. There are the name of brand as well as maker on the products.
After five years of development of purple clay teapots, the inscriptions on the pots included briefly, names, annals, store names, marks, patterns, brands, toponymy, auspicious words, poetries, export inscription,etc. Some works use these together.
Location of seals and inscriptions
The location of inscription of purple clay teapot is likely random and no any unitive manners. What we can see now is the early time of Dabin style pots with the inscript as "Dabin". Some are engraved "Dabin" of "Made by Shi Dabin" on the bottom. The melon teapot of Chen Mingyuan in Qing Dynasty (now collected by Nanjing Museum) was engraved as "Mingyuan" on the body ami used with the seal, some were engraved or inscribed on the cover.
Nowadays, the famous potters leave the inscription of the work mostly appear on three locations, inside of teapot, first name; top of handle, the family name; bottom, full name. Some of them use the two seals,the first name seal and the family name seal, or use the seal and inscribed together. Some combine the shape of teapot and decorations inscribe own inscription.