Today we had a chance to examine a beautiful pair of pewter teapots from the Qing Dyanasty. They are owned respectively by a pair of real life tea pals.
The handle of the smaller pot was expertly repaired with silver “nails.” The repair is indicative of workmanship from long past.
The tall pot had its original spout carved from stone.
So it goes in the case of these two collectors, and many others among us, that your favorite tea buds are also friendly rivals.
The modern inheritor of Chinese tea culture is striving to demonstrate the finest tea, teaware, and hospitality to his friends, and often will come into competition for the same rare items. When admiring a piece that we lost out on to a good friend, our saying goes like this - “I loved it first!”
The earliest story I have heard of such friendship/rivalries dates back to the Han Dynasty, where the Imperial Court and the Emperor himself traveled to hold formal tea competitions in Wuyi, demonstrating their taste and skill. Gatherings of tea pals are popular in the area to this day, and it was only a matter of time for this tradition to find its way to the New Continent.