The shape of this bottle derives from European glass examples that were made to store alcohol on ships. The square shape of these glass versions was cleverly designed for easy stacking and efficient storage on board. The grooved neck on the present porcelain bottle imitates ridging for fitting a screw top but would also have facilitated tying down the stopper. A similar blue and white bottle with panels of floral designs is in the British Museum, London, and is illustrated by Jessica Harrison-Hall in Catalogue of Late Yuan and Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, p., 281, no. 11:12, where the author notes that while the form is based on a Western model, the decoration at this point in the 17th century is still strictly Chinese in character.