In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Chinese decorative arts were popular among Europe’s wealthy and elite. In the West, porcelain vessels like this are called "ginger jars" because they were often imported containing ginger. Blue and white china was collected by artists James McNeill Whistler and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. A similar jar appears in Whistler’s painting Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks (1864). The "cracked ice" pattern is clearly visible just below the neck of the jar.