Ginger Jars

by Breeze Giannasio in


I'm the first to admit it - what can I say?  I have a thing for antique ginger jars. 

Sigh... I've always been a collector. It started with Star Wars figurines, thimbles, smurfs and other exquisite nonsense then evolved from there. My latest fix is actually not my only, but it is one of my favs.  Antique ginger jars--what's the history?  Well, they're steeped in centuries of Chinese culture and history. Different colors, sizes and styles denoted separate occasions and uses, including the evolution of the popular "fishtail" jars we often see and use today. Some jars were used for basic provisions such as salt, oil, and yes, ginger - while others were designated as gifts for the Emperor (a yellow 'pearl' jar was appropriate for this use) and were even suitable as urns.  

The use of the Chinese character for "double happiness", which appears on many blue and white ginger jars, suggests that they were often given on special occasions (such as weddings) and were intended to last a lifetime.

Most of my collection is in storage, but I can't wait to add two wonderful new finds from Georgetown Emporium to the growing family!  I have dozens at this point...