Mar 28, 2012

tea pictures, Yixing picture book and blog sale

Here I have three things to show. The first two are sets of post cards, and the third is a Yixing picture book. None of them is a "must have" item. I just thought they are interesting and would like to offer a channel if some people are interested in getting them. For the two sets of post cards, I'm posting the scanned image of all of them and hope they can start some interesting discussions.

The postcards are made with retro style dark paper, and the original paintings seem to be between water color and gouache, so the colors are not very bright. The scanned image looks like those under strong light. The real color of the cards are darker. They are all of the regular postcard size. There is English caption on each card, but I think I've spotted a few typos on one of the cards that has a longer paragraph. But generally the English caption conveys the meaning all right.

Shipping for the postcards within North America is $3 regardless of amount. Shipping for the book within the US by media mail is $7 (insurance included) or to be determined if other shipping method is preferred.

Please contact me for shipping to other countries. The book may not cost more shipped to other countries than shipped to North America.

Neither the postcards nor the book has cover pockets or packaging. They will be packed carefully though.

I have quite a few sets of each type of postcard sets. The book, I have only 2 copies in hands. But a discount price is available for people who are willing to wait for 3-4 weeks. 

This blog sale is valid till the end of April or till the items last.
1. Set of 12 postcards with historical paintings about Chinese tea making and tea industry.

(You can click the pictures to get an enlarged view.)

The first four shows the cultivation. But I have doubts about the sowing, plowing and fertilizing pictures as the fields don't really look like tea fields, and most new tea bushes are not planted by sowing the seeds. Those pictures could be interpreted as cultivation of other things too.

On the back of the first card (sowing), there is also a note that these pictures were painted for foreign merchants to take home as souvenirs. So probably the main purpose of these pictures was to illustrate scenes of Chinese agricultural society, and the accuracy of cultivation probably wasn't important.

In the next 4 pictures, the "pounding tea" puzzles me. Where and when does this happen? Although Hakka people have "pounded tea", the picture doesn't look like it. The pictures of trading site (Hong) and transportation are not necessarily specifically about tea trade. But they were the common scene of that time for trading of various goods, including tea. 

The next four pictures are about tea processing. 

 2. Set of 8 postcards about porcelain/ceramic ware making.

The water-powered hammer looks quite novel and interesting to me :-)

3. Yixing picture book - An Atlas of the Best Yixing Zisha. It's big, 400 pages, 5 lb.

Due to the years of warehousing and international transportation, I can't guarantee each copy of the book is spotless new. There might be some small dents at the corners or on the cover. But over all the book should look new. The hard cover of the book also protects it quite well through storage and transportation.

It's a book in Chinese. But I would like to introduce this book to Yixing fans in any country because this book has very little text and primarily composed of pictures. Basically you don't have to "read" to "watch" this book. In China, many Yixing fans call this book "the bible of Yixing", for a number of good reasons:

First of all, this book is edited by Gu Jingzhou (顾景舟), the most recent "Godfather" of Yixing.

Secondly, this book has more than 500 nice photos of yixing ware (mostly teapots but also including vases, plant pots, and yixing sculptures). Each of them was hand picked and carefully inspected by Gu Jingzhou himself. Many of them are from collection of top-notch museums or the best yixing collectors. I can't imagine there could be another book with this number and this level of yixing image collection.

Thirdly, this book was made in planned-economy era. The efforts made to gather the image materials and write the book can't be evaluated by money, and the book wasn't made with a budget or profit in plan. That's also why a second book of this level of image collection is not likely to be seen in the current commercialized society.

This book was published in 1992. There is a Hong Kong version and a Taiwan version (same contents, different covers). This one is the Taiwan version by Taiwan Far East Publishing House. The retail price in 1992 is NT2800 (about US$70-80). The price of Hong Kong version is a little more expensive. The price didn't change much in the past 20 years (its current market price in mainland China is about US$90-100). I guess it's because this book has a small market - only people crazy about yixing would buy it, and this price is not very affordable to many people in Asia. Even when you are into yixing, there is always this dilemma between buying one decent yixing teapot for $100+ and buying a book of 500 yixing pictures for the same money! :-p

Here are some pictures of this book, for you to get a sense what it looks like.

It's about the size of A4 office supply printing paper.

A typical page is like this. The text is minimum and mainly about the names, seals and the names of collectors of the artworks. Even if you don't read Chinese, you don't miss much.

It also includes some yixing sculptures. 

More yixing sculptures.

These pages are about the most text-dense pages in the book. Out of the 400 pages, there are about 26 pages with a mix of text and pictures. All the rest are primarily composed of pictures as showed above.

Earlier pages of the book shows scenes of Yixing and yixing production.

I hope you have enjoyed watching the pictures :-) If there is a stream of demands, we will consider putting some of these items in our store. But I somehow feel only crazy people are into these sort of things  :-p


Anonymous said...

I would like to buy a copy of this book please.

My name is Victor Judge and my e-mail address is

I can pay vis Paypal if you wish to list it on Ebay.

I hope to hear from you shortly,



Gingko said...

Thanks Vic. Will send email :-)

felix said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
From Peter Combs and Bidamount said...

Hello, How do I go about getting a copy of the book on Yixing? Kindly get in touch with me, Sincerely Peter Combs

plcombs(at)plcombs. com

Gingko said...

Hi Peter, I sent you an email. Thanks!

simon curtis said...

Good evening
Please can you give me details about buying the Yixing book.
simon curtis

Gingko said...

Hi Simon, thank you for your interest. Please email me at gingkoheight at gmail . com