Ginger jars are identified by their high-shoulders, rounded shapes, small mouths, and domed lids that often continue the piece’s exterior decoration all the way up to the finial. Though ginger jars were initially used to store and transport spices, hence their name, the containers (which usually lack handles) have been used chiefly as decorative objects since the 19th century, when demand in the West for Chinese antiques spurred the export of these pieces to Europe, as well as the manufacture of copycat jars in pottery centers such as Staffordshire.

Some of the decorative treatments on ginger jars have included dragons, carp, landscapes, and florals, either glazed in a rainbow of colors or limited to the blues and whites of flow blue. Because of their wide shape, ginger jars lent themselves to a “rose medallion” treatment, in which florid designs around the jar framed smaller scenes, almost like a graphic novel in porcelain. Today, because the jars are squat, giving them a low center of gravity, they are sometimes converted into table lamps.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

This gallery showcases highlights from the 5,000 items in the museum's ceramics collection dating from 1500-1900. I… [read review or visit site]

Ceramics at The V&A

Ceramics at The V&A

A great reference on ceramics from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Learn about different ceramics techniques and st… [read review or visit site]

Gotheborg.com

Gotheborg.com

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Chinese C1700 Kangxi Period Blue & White Prunus Baluster Jar Antique Chinese 19th Century Guangxu Period Powder Blue Slender JarRare Art Nouveau Frederick Rhead Bursley Ware Bagdad Hexagonal Ginger Jar C.192018th/ 19th Century Chinese Blue & White Ginger Jar - Six Character MarkTwo Late 19th C. Chinese Blue And White Tea Or Ginger Jars, Vine DecorationNear Pair 20th C. Chinese Porcelain Tobacco Leaf Mellon Jars18th/ 19th Century Chinese Blue & White Ginger JarLarge Antique Chinese 19th Century Kangxi Mark Blue & White Ginger Jar / VaseExceptional Antique Early Chinese Porcelain Ginger Jar Vase Kangxi Mark & PeriodTwo Antique Chinese Ginger Jars: 19thc Kangxi Mark Prunus & Famille Verte SignedTwo Late 19th C. Chinese Famille Rose Enamel Decorated Ginger Jars19c Chinese Blue And White Porcelain Jar CrackleglazePair Of Antique B&w Chinese Ginger Jars- Prunus & HawthornAntique Chinese Cloisonne Lidded Jar And Wooden Stand, Dragons & Flaming Pearls!Estate Fine Old China Chinese Blue White Boy Qilin Ginger Jar Vase Lid Porcelain18th C. Chinese Blue And White JarAntique Beautiful Chinese Asian Cloisonne Ginger Jar VaseChinese Underglaze Blue & White Porcelain Covered Jar With Stand, 19th CenturyA Very Fine Chinese 18c Blue&white Prunus Jar/cover-kangxiAntique Famille Verte Chinese Ginger Jar-19thcEstate Fine Old China Chinese Blue White Qilin Ginger Jar Vase Lid PorcelainA Very Large Blue/white Jar With Wood Lid, Kangxi Mark On Bottom, 1800sFine Old China Chinese Porcelain Blue White Double Happiness Ginger Jar VaseAntique Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Crackle Jar And Cover Kangxi Mark- NrLarge Antique Chinese 19th Century Kangxi Style Famille Verte Ginger Jar / VaseA Beautiful Pair Of Canton Lidded Jars (supreme Quality) 19 - 20c Chinese Covered JarAntique Rare Pair Chinese Pottery Granary Urns Jars Han Dynasty Impressive 15"Chinese Famille Rose Ginger Jar / Vase 19c Circa 1880Antique Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Double Happiness Ginger Jar Antique Chinese Qing Kangxi Susancai Famille Verte / Jaune Zhadou Porcelain JarChinese Celadon Greenware Jar & CoverAntique 17th Century Kangxi Chinese Porcelain Blue White Ginger Jar Tea CaddyChinese Blue Ginger Jar People Working In The Orchard DecoratedAntique Chinese Porcelain Jar With Interesting Decoration.Fine Antique Chinese Dragon Jar On Carved Stand 19th C Double Five Claw Dragons 19th-20th C. Chinese Blue And White JarAntique 17th Century Kangxi Chinese Porcelain Blue White Ginger Jar Tea VaseFenton Green Ginger Jar Hand Painted / Qvc Nancy FentonLarge 18th - 19th C. Chinese Chinese Blue And White Covered Dragon & Phoenix JarFine Antique Chinese Eggshell Porcelain Ginger Jar Finely Decorated W/ Red Mark Chinese Prunus Blossom Hawthorn JarOld Chinese Yixing Zisha Tea Leaf Caddy Container Jar Vintage Asian Chinese Cloisonne Ginger Jar With LidAntique Wucai Porcelain Jar Ming Style 19th C. And 20th C. Chinese Pottery,, Seated Female Duck And Green Glaze Jar10 Antique Wood Oriental Ginger Jar Lamp Bases 6 Wood Plate Stands Painted Egg19-20c 4 Chinese Covered Blue & White Jars Cherry Blossom On Cracked Ice PatternAntique 18th Century Porcelain Ginger Jar - Very Large Beauty!Antique 17th Century Kangxi Chinese Porcelain Blue White Ginger Jar Tea MelonA Chinese Porcelain Prunus Ginger Jar Pot VaseTwo Fine Old Vintage Chinese Blue & White Prunus Pattern Ginger Jars Double RingTwo Chinese Sancai Glazed Pottery Tea Boxs Or Jars Qing Dynasty No ReserveChinese Porcelain Jar Antique Large 15thc Ming Dynasty Kitchen Pottery Ginger Jar Vase Beautiful Antique Chinese Rose Medallion Porcelain ContainerAntique 17thc Ming Green Glazed Dynasty Kitchen Pottery Ginger Jar Vase Ginger Jar Bouquet Crewel Embroidery Kit ~ DimensionsLight Blue (aqua, Turquoise) Clear Glass Ginger Type JarChinese Cloisoinne Jar And Cover