Collection: The History of Ginger Jars

Originally, ginger jars were used for storing and transporting spices in Ancient China. They were used as containers for salt, oil but also rarer spices such as ginger, hence the name they got when they began entering the Western world. Their utilitarian purpose was replaced in time by a decorative one. The jars are now meant to be displayed as part of your home decor.

Classic Style Ginger Jar Vase

Ginger jars are mostly identified by their blue and white designs but the fact is that this isn’t the only combination that they come in. The blue and white look became popular in Europe and started a whole trend but these jars are actually produced in lots of other colors. The more colorful versions are less popular and, because of that, more special and hard to find.

Chinese Ming Style Vase

Large Chinese Ming Style Ginger Jar Vase


Usually hand-painted, the true antique ginger jars are made of porcelain. The demand for these ornaments in Europe created opportunities for those that started to mass produce the jars.* Those versions, however, are not nearly as valuable and the antique ones that the collectors seek.

These jars are no longer used for their intended purpose, at least not in Europe or other parts of the globe. They have become decorative objects and even containers for cremation ashes.

 * As far as we know, the jars and vases on our site are mass produced.