Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher.
While teapots are believed to have been used in China for nearly one thousand years, production of this essential item began in earnest during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Potteries in Yixing at the time were known for their stoneware teapots. As loose-leaf tea became more popular, the production of teapots increased. Teapots produced today continue to resemble the early designs from the Ming Dynasty. Yixing still produces these iconic teapots which can be purchased at many online and bricks-and-mortar retailers worldwide.
The Sepia Times collection at Universal Images Group includes thousands of images of historical teapots, with early Yixing teapot models through to 18th century European ones.
All images: Sepia Times.