The body and cover inlaid with small spots of silver, with three archaistic knobs on the sides, one functioning as the spout, the cover with a chain-form finial; the base with a circular seal 'Bao Zhongmei zhi (Made by Bao Zhongmei)', with a long inscription incorporating a cyclical year gengwu (1990) and artist's seal 'Zhongmei' on the interior of the cover, the center of the interior base with another inscription
3¾ in. (9.5 cm.) high

The Irving Collection, no. 38Y.
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Lot Essay

Bao Zhongmei, a male artist, was born in 1994 in Yixing, Jiangsu province. Bao was awarded the title “Master of Arts and Crafts, Jiangsu Province” (江蘇省工藝美術大師)in 2002. He began his career in the Yixing Purple Clay Factory with a focus on developing new technologies for decorating, mold-making, and sculpting. Bao collaborated with his wife, Shi Xiuchun, to create a new decoration technique for teapots, involving inlaying gold, silver, diamonds, and other precious stones into the clay body.

The design of the present teapot was inspired by a Chinese weapon, bo lang chui (博浪搥), a globular hammer with a chain handle, after a famous weapon used in an unsuccessful attempt on the First Emperor’s life. Yixing ceramicists have translated the shape of bo lang chui into their teapots since the late Qing dynasty. Bao Zhongmei utilized his signature technique to add circular spots of silver onto the body to innovate on the classic design of the bo lang chui-shaped teapot. Teapots of similar design and decoration by Bao Zhongmei are illustrated by Xu Xiutang (maker of lots 6 and 50) in the book Yixing Zisha Wubai Nian (Five Hundred Years of Yixing Purple Clay), Shanghai, 2009, p. 57, and in Innovations in Contemporary Yixing Pottery, Hong Kong, 1988, p.156, no.74. One example was sold at Beijing Council International Auction Co. Ltd., 04 December 2015, lot 2308, and another was sold at Poly International Auction Co. Ltd., 06 December 2011, lot 4508.

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