Decorative blue and white ginger jars for your home
With their characteristically high shoulders, rounded shape and ornate painted designs, Chinese ginger jars are instantly recognisable. However, these iconic decorative pieces aren’t known as ‘ginger jars’ in China, where they are instead used to store dried herbs, spices and salt. From their origins in the days of the Qin Dynasty, ginger jars earned their name many centuries later when they were used to store and transport ginger for export to the Western world.
Although antique Chinese ginger jars often showcase the exceptional artistic skill of ceramic artists, with the beautifully rich colours and detailed patterns synonymous with oriental ceramics, they were originally intended as everyday household objects. However, ginger jars were gradually appreciated for their decorative appeal, becoming highly collectable interior design pieces during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Ginger jars are equally at home in museum collections and modern interiors; with pieces ranging in design from the instantly recognisable traditional blue and white patterns, through to ornate motifs in a wide range of vibrant colours. Ginger jars are ideal for use as accent pieces and thanks to their versatility, look stunning when displayed alone, or grouped together in a collection.
Blue and white ginger jarsPerhaps the most instantly recognisable type of ginger jar, blue and white pieces are also the most traditional and oldest in style. Antique examples can be dated as far back as the 9th century; however by the time of the Ming Dynasty in the early 15th century, Chinese blue and white porcelain had become incredibly popular in Europe, resulting in an extremely lucrative export market. As such, the blue and white style we love today became the standard.
Colourful ginger jars
There’s a misconception that ginger jars only come in blue and white patterns, but this is not the case! It’s not unusual to find antique pieces in vibrant shades of orange, red, yellow and green. Yellow was traditionally associated with the Chinese Emperor and as such this colour was usually reserved for the highest quality, luxury items. Many are decorated with intricate patterns depicting birds, floral motifs or patterns, whilst pieces in bold, solid colours can also be found.
Chinese Imari ginger jars actually originated in Japan and are instantly recognisable with their traditional red, blue and gold patters, often depicting horses, exotic birds and flowers. Imari porcelain wares were most prevalent in China during the 17th and 18th centuries, however this style did enjoy a later resurgence towards the end of the 19th century.
Bring a touch of elegance into your home
Ginger jars are perfect for bringing a touch of oriental elegance into your home, with classically simple shapes and beautiful painted designs. Here at Shimu we have a wide range of ginger jars available in a selection of colours, sizes and finishes.
You’ll find that we have iconic blue and white ginger jars decorated with floral designs and symbols such as ‘double happiness,’ through to pieces which have been beautifully painted with landscape scenes, birds, floral designs and more. Or for an imposing look, why not take a look at our ginger jars decorated with fierce Chinese dragons? Our range of blue and white ginger jars come with matching lids which are either flat or with a ceramic handle.
For something a little different, our glazed ginger jars in solid colours are available in a range of designs, including embossed patterns and decorative glazes. In addition, you’ll find that some show the red wax seal which is applied to show that they have been cleared for export. We think that this red seal makes an eye-catching addition, however they can be easily removed if required.
Ginger jars make stunning decorative ornaments and are at home in almost any room in the house. The perfect centrepiece for a console table in the hallway or on a living room side table, these elegant pieces complement traditional and contemporary interiors alike.
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