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Inscriptions of Shi Dabin Purple Clay Teapots and Fakements

The inscriptions of purple clay teapots, as same as the modelling of purple clay teapots, later generation always imitate the predecessors. We could not tell the style characters apart of our predecessors' seals. Only the inscriptions of official wares in Kangxi and Qianlong Dyziasties, there were definite records on how much teapots were sent into the royal court, and had never been sent out. Since if you want to the truth or false of purple clay teapots, you should know the shape, clay materials, changes of firing, decorative methods and common used inscription of famous potters in their periods, band these together to judge.

If we compared three teapots of archaeological finds, it is not very hard to find that the technique of six-sides square teapot which uneardied from Yangzhou was worse. From the round ware to square, the square is more difficult than round ware in terms of technique, maybe six-sides square teapot belonged to the early time of Shi Dabin's style works. The managements flow-mouth and handle all emphasized the function of use.

Throughout the art of Shi Dabin's purple day teapots, no matter the clay materials, moulding techniques, fired crafts and so on, compared with the middle-Ming Dynasty, it incline to mature, and the works got famous inscription.

Comparing these to the other arts of purple clay teapot in late-Ming Dynasty what we can see nowadays, the best craft was made by Shi Dabin. Lots of potters at the same time were far away from the Dabin's making techniques. According to the historical documents when Dabin still alive in late-Ming Dynasty, it appeared lots of imitations of Dabin's works.

Not long before, there is a broken purple clay teapot which carved as "made by Shi Dabin during Wuwu year", unearthed from the Donglin college in Wuxi and collected by this college. It is said that the most unearthed wares are belonged to the late-Ming Dynasty and early-Qing Dynasty, We check it from bottom, the shape is big and coarse, the bottom is round similar to the tri-pod roundish cover teapot which unearned from Zhangpu, Fujian Province. Roundish feet is not very regular, and the inscription inscribed as "during Wuwu year", it should be the Wanli Period next 46 year(1618) in Ming Dynasty, it was differ far away from the crafts of Tri-pod Ruyi pattern of cover pot which unearthed in Wuxi County.

Not unique but as a double. Kong Shangren who lived in early time of Qing Dynasty collected three Dabin teapots, one biggest of them is coarse which inscribed as "made by Shi Dabin during Wuwu year", but Kong said, it is distrustful that the "Shi" character connecting with the "Ri" character. If the collection of Kong is identical with the unearned from Donglin College, since from this, the great number of imitations of Shi Dabins works had been appeared in Late-Ming Dynasty.