Yixing Stoneware from private Japanese collections (lots 572-582)
An Yixing bamboo-form teapot and cover
Signed Gu Jingzhou, circa 1955 Of compressed spherical form, applied with a bamboo-form handle and short curved bamboo-shaped spout, the domed cover surmounted by a coiled branch of bamboo comprising the knop, the underside of the cover and the base impressed with seal marks, the clay of a beige colour. 19.2cm long.
Gu Jingzhou (1915 - 1996), a native of Yixing who had been trained as a Yixing artist under his grandmother since 1933, is considered one of the greatest modern and contemporary masters of Yixing stoneware in China. During the early 1930s, before Gu was invited to Shanghai by the established connoisseur dealer, Lang Yushu, to make teapots after the styles of his predecessors, he was trained by Chu Ming, a renowned Yixing master from late Qing to early Republican period. During the 1940s when Gu retired from the ceramic monopoly, Shanghai Standard Ceramics Company, he returned to Yixing for solitude while his passion of making teapots never decreased. During the 1950s, he was appointed as the supervisor of the Shushan Pottery Production Cooperative, where he taught his first group of apprentices, including Xu Xiutang, Li Changhong, Gao Haigeng and others.
The mark on the base reads 'chuo mo kan cha', which literally translates as 'to sip the ink and to bring up a cup of tea'. This specific mark was used by Gu Jingzhou when he started teaching after the 1950s and was a metaphorical expression to his pupils for cultivating great patience in learning the finest skills of teapot production.
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