Purple clay teapot expert dies at age of 74
Xu Sihai, a purple clay teapots maker and collector, died on June 5 at the age of 74.
Xu founded the Sihai Teapot Museum, Shanghai’s first private museum, in 1992 and set up the 46-mu (3.07-hectare) A Hundred Buddhas Garden in 2009 including not only the teapot museum, but also the China Tea God Museum, a tea-processing mill and a manufacturing base in Jiading’s Zhenxin community.
Born in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, Xu moved to Shanghai when he was 10 years old. At 23, he joined the army and served in Vietnam in the 1960s.
While in the army, he developed an interest in making purple clay teapots and returned to Shanghai with a truckload.
His interest grew in the 1980s, a time when their value was not fully recognized. Years later, his talent as a maker was noted, both within China and abroad.
In 1985, his teapot “Summer” won a national competition and was bought by the Asian Art Museum in the US.