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Yixing begonia-style teapot with flowers of the four seasons in painted enamels, Kangxi reign (1662-1722), Qing dynasty

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Accession Number
Yixing begonia-style teapot with flowers of the four seasons in painted enamels
Kangxi reign (1662-1722), Qing dynasty
H. 7.3 cm;H. incl. cover. 9.7 cm;Diam. 6.2 cm;Diam. of base. 6.0 cm


This teapot has a four-lobed melon ridge body, curved handle, and short spout. The edges of the lid are fashioned in the shape of four lotus flower petals with curled borders, and a round knob with a round air hole at the top is set atop the lid. The exterior surface of the teapot is divided into four segments, within which peony, lotus flower, chrysanthemum, and camellia patterns, flowers of the four seasons, have been painted. The surface of the lid is decorated with aibika and daisy patterns. The interior of the teapot is plain and unglazed, while the exterior surface has been coated with transparent glaze. On the underside of the vessel, a yellow inscription of four characters in standard script reads, "Kang Xi Yu Zhi (Made by Imperial Order of the Kangxi Emperor)." The inscription is surrounded by two circles. This teapot was made from Yixing zisha (purple clay). The body is not as fine and delicate as ceramic bodies made from porcelain clay, with larger grains, tiny black and yellow sand spots in the body, and a rough surface; as a result, it is not uncommon to see brown spots on the colorful patterns where tiny air bubbles have broken through. Melon-ridged Yixing ware teapots with painted enamels were popular during the Kangxi reign, and common decorative patterns included flowers as well as flowers and fruits. According to the Archive of Cloisonné, Glass, Enamels, and Yixing Ware, the two begonia-style (or melon-style) teapots with flowers of the four seasons in the collections of the National Palace Museum are likely the "Yixing ware painted enamel teapot" or "Yixing ware teapot with flowers of the four seasons in painted enamels" recorded in the Archive.