Dragon Cloud Tea Tray
Yixing clay (simplified Chinese: 宜兴; traditional Chinese: 宜興; pinyin: Yíxīng; Wade–Giles: I-Hsing) is a type of clay from the region near the city of Yixingin Jiangsu province, China. Its use dates back to the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) when sandy clay was first mined around Lake Taihu in China. From the 17th century on, the ware was commonly exported to Europe. The finished stoneware, which is used for teaware and other small items, are usually red or brown in color. They are known as Purple Sand ware, and are typically unglazed.
*Information from Purple Cane, Wikipedia.