This teapot is one of Mansheng’s Eighteen (compare Shipiao teapot).
The hulu shape is based on the calabash or bottle gourd. It has a lot of practical usees: as food, medicine, as a container for water or medicine, a ladle, a strainer, even a musical instrument…The hulu is very important in Chinese culture because of its beautiful shape, its practical uses and its name. The name hulu 葫芦 also sounds like fulu 福禄 ( good luck and prosperity).
The hulu is heavily featured in literature and art and is connected to Taoism and mythology. It often appears as a magical accessory for a deity, containing pills of immortality, holy water or other treasures. It can also serve as a container for evil spirits or shelter for people.
So it is not far fetched that there is a hulu shaped teapot – to supply us with unlimited good tea and to ward off evil (tea)!
Mansheng’s hulu pot has an arched bridge with a little ring as a lid handle which makes a soft clinking sound when moved and adds some playfulness. Other hulu teapots have a little stubble or vine on top of the lid.
What evil tea should the hulu teapot defend you against?