The globular jar "ching" (center and left in the photo) was used by stores and taverns
for shipping goods such as oils and liquor. Once the original contents were emptied,
these jars were often reused to store household items such as pickled vegetables,
ginger, or salty duck eggs (Yang and Hellermann 1998).
The barrel jar "nga gong" (right in photo) was used for the shipping and storage of dry
goods such as rice and other grains, whole soy beans, and sugar. Once emptied, the
jars could be reused to store an endless variety of items. They were often left outside
to catch and store rainwater and were sometimes used to ship the bones of the dead
back to China for reburial.
Smaller Stoneware Containers
Spouted jars "nga hu" (far left in photo below) are often called soy pots and often
contained soy sauce for sale in stores. However, these jars were used for a variety of
other liquids such as peanut oil, black vinegar, and liquor. These jars were wheel
thrown in one or two pieces (base and shoulder), with the base unglazed and the spout
applied over a punched hole.
The wide-mouth jar "fut how nga peng" (center-left in photo below) originally held
preserved tofu, sweet bean paste, shrimp paste, a variety of beans, and pickled
preserved tofu, sweet bean paste, shrimp paste, a variety of beans, and pickled in
photo) cemented into place. This jar served much the same purpose in Chinese
vegetables for sale. The jar was sealed with an unglazed stoneware disk lid (lower left
in photo) cemented into place. This jar served much the same purpose in Chinese
culture as the Mason jar did in Western culture. These jars were wheel thrown in one
piece with the base unglazed.
The liquor bottle "tsao tsun" (center-right and upper right in photo) contained a wide
range of fermented and distilled alcoholic beverages. The shape of this bottle dates to
1,000 B.C. (Greenwood 1993). Two common types of Chinese liquor are still sold in
these bottles. They are "Ng-Ka-Py" and "Mui Guai Lo", both about 46% alcohol and
used for cooking as well as drinking. Ng-Ka-Py tastes a lot like a sweet brandy.
These bottles were wheel thrown in three pieces (base, shoulder, and neck) covered
with a high quality glaze with the base glazed as well. Occasionally an inverted
Chinese character is found embossed on the
base (center bottom of photo). The inverted
embossed character could have been used as a
stamp. Translated, the characters have
meanings such as "happiness" or "success."
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