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]

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    

Authentic Japanese Meiji Period (明治時代, Meiji-jidai) Satsuma Jar Meizan Hodota19th Century Antique Chinese Porcelain Phoenix Bird Crane Ginger Jar Kangxi MarkPair Of Old Chinese Porcelain Hand Painted Ginger Jar With Mark On BottomLarge Lot Of Old Chinese Japanese Cloisonne Boxes Jars EtcPair Antique 19thc Chinese Porcelain Blue & White Vases & Covers Crackle JarsAntique Chinese Green Glaze Ginger Jar Shiwan Pottery Qing Dynasty ChinaOld Chinese Porcelain Blue And White Ginger Jar With Wood CoverAntique Chinese Qing Blue White Porcelain Covered Immortal 5.5 Inch Lidded JarA Superb Chinese 18c Blue&white "precious Objects" Jar Cover/stand-kangxiAntique German Villeroy & Boch Blue & White Lidded Mantle Urn/ginger Jars Nr YqzAntique Chinese Porcelain Ginger Jar Vase Blue And White Happiness 19th CenturyLarge Antique Chinese 20thc / Republic Famille Verte Porcelain Jar & CoverPair Of Antique Japanese Chinese Style Porcelain Covered Jars French SamsonFine Quality Han Dynasty Antique Old Chinese JarLate Qing Republican Famille Rose Ginger Jar Cover Scholar Boys Oxen Vase Nr YqzNice Japanese Cloisonne Covered Jar Marked SatoRepublican China Trade Famille Rose Ginger Jar Wood Cover Stand Vase Nr YqzLrg 19thc Chinese Porcelain Kangxi Marks Blue White Double Dragons Jar & CoverOld Chinese Porcelain Jar And Cover With Calligraphy And Mark On BottomRare Nippon Porcelain Moriage Dragon Ware 9" Ginger JarArtisan Terry Curran Porcelain Ginger Jar Dollhouse MiniatureLarge Antique Chinese Green Celadon JarFine Chinese Late Qing Famille Rose Jar With CoverFine Lrg Early 19thc Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Butterfly Lingzhi Fungus JarLot Of Chinese Porcelain Jars Cups Bowls EtcFine Chinese Republic Period Famille Rose Jar With CoverAntique Qing Dynasty Pastel Flowers Heart Shape Botle Hi Tian Kiln Porcelain JarBeautiful Chinese 19th C Blue & White Scholar & Duck Jar - Signed KangxiVintage 10" Porcelain Double Happiness Wedding Lidded Ginger Jar ChinaEstate Fine China Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Lidded Jar Scholar ArtDollhouse Miniature Porcelain Ginger Jar W Cover- Bespaq A Large Chinese Famille Rose Five Compartment Covered Container, Republic PeriodAntique Chinese Export Canton Blue Design Stoneware Ginger Jar 1 Chinese Cinnabar Ginger Jar Oriental AntiqueA 20th Century Chinese Enamel Decorated Prunus Lidded Ginger Jar/vase BirdsFine Antique Chinese Blue And White Porcelain Jar Rare S4192Limoges France Hand Painted Rochard Porcelain Trinket Box Ginger Jar Covered PotLarge Antique Chinese Polychrome "shou" Jar + Cover 19thc Porcelain Famille RoseLarge 14" 19thc Chinese Kangxi Marks Powder Blue Famille Verte Jar And CoverLovely Intricate Chinese ? Cloisonne Ginger Jar Or VaseChinese Blue And White Porcelain Handmade Antique Ornaments JarH421: Popular Chinese Tin Ware Tea Canister For Green Tea Sencha With Good TasteLarge Blue White Ginger Double Happiness JarsPortmeirion Queen's Hidden Garden 6" X 4.5" Lidded Ginger Jar / VaseVintage Lot Of Franciscan Desert Rose - Egg Cup, Ginger Jar & Chocolate CupFab Vintage Japanese Imari Hexagonal Bird & Flowers Temple Ginger Jar/pot/vaseExtremely Old Chinese/korean Small Pottery Jar-possibly 16thcenturyAntique Chinese Export Canton Blue Design Stoneware Ginger Jar 2Fab Vintage Chinese Bird In Tree Design Temple Ginger Jar/pot/vase 14 Cms Tall 19th C Chinese Porcelain Famille Verte Blue Ground Pheasants Butterfly JarAntique Chinese Kangxi 1662-1722 Marked Famille Verte Ginger Jar Qing DynastySuperb Vintage Chinese Pottery Prunus Design With Foo Dog Finial Ginger Jar/potEarly 1800s Canton Ginger Jar With Original Label Rare Small Antique Chinese Blue & White Ginger Jar 18th To Early 19th CenturyAn Antique Possibly Chinese Turned Plain Dressing Table Jar & Screw Cover Asian Chinese China Porcelain Design Urn Ginger Jar Vase 10 1/2" TallVintage Chinese Pottery Blue & White Flowers & Leaves Design Ginger Jar/pot/vaseArdalt Blue Delfla Ginger Jar Vintage Chinese Blue & White Flowers & Leafs Design Ginger Jar/vase 10 Cms TallGood 19th C Chinese Porcelain Double Dragons Square Character Marks Jar & Cover