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Jar, c. 1900, Creator unknown (Chinese), Porcelain, Gift of John S. Van Gilder, 1957.5.1.1.

Blue and white “ginger jars,” originally used to export the spice from China, were widely popular with Western collectors, as was the traditional hawthorne tree design featured on them. The white tree blossoms against a blue glaze of “cracked ice” symbolizes winter’s thaw and the approach of spring.

This jar has decorations representing the four seasons. Around the top of the jar is bamboo for January and lotus for June. On two sides are roses for spring, and chrysanthemum of September. Around the sides are white hawthorne blossoms representing all-year-round flowers.

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