Centuries of Chinese culture and history surround the ginger jar.
The popular covered ginger jars originated in Imperial China in the Qin Dynasty
during which the Great Wall was built.
Shaped with a wide mouth, a domed lid, and the bulbous painted body,
it comes in many styles and sizes, and is often painted in different colors.
A true Chinese ginger jar is usually made of porcelain and hand painted.
These beautiful jars were originally used to store food supplies such as salt,
herbs, oil and ginger which were exported to the West.
In the 19th century ginger jars became a fashionable item and were mass
produced for export to the West where they were used as decorative elements
rather than functional items.
The white ginger jar, such as these I found in a New Hampshire shop some
years ago - no longer with their domed lids, but wish I had purchased -
is the traditional Chinese wedding gift.
I think they are are really beautiful.