Jars of this distinctive form first appeared during the ninth century and were particularly popular during the Song dynasty. It has been suggested that they may have functioned as waste receptacles for wine dregs or tea leaves.
The bracket-lobed petal rim on this rare and unusually elegant example suggests that it dates early in the Song period, and appears to have been inspired by Dingyao and other high-fired northern white wares of the late Tang and Five Dynasties period. See, for example, the bowl with similar rim dated to the 10th century in the Museum Pusat in Jakarta illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 3, Tokyo, 1982, no. 10.