This charming book illustrates famous tea pots by famous makers and includes a biograpy of each potter. Tessai dates the book to his 80th year, by Japanese count, and tells us that the first illustrated pot is the only one that he has seen first hand. He knows of the others by reputation only.
The first tea pot is by the Ming-dynasty potter Shen Jun Yong. Tessai relates the names of its first and second owners, the price paid (150 gold ounces) by the second owner, Iwasaki Ou, and a poem about the pot by Iwasaki that surrounds the plum-blossom-shaped drawings of the pot's cover and the inscription that appears on what may be the underside of the lid. Shen Jun Yong's biography follows.
At the front of the book Tessai makes the droll observation that while clay from the ground costs nothing, when it is fashioned into a tea pot it may be exchanged for a great deal of money.