Cricket jars of this type are believed to have been used during the summer months to contain fighting or singing crickets; it has been suggested that the natural hollow gourd containers were used during the winter months to house crickets, when there was less incentive to keep them cool.
Compare a similar example enamelled with a single leaf over the underglaze-blue three-character hallmark, illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Woods, 1998, p. 172, no. 114 (fig. 1). The author notes that the Shaowentang hallmark is recorded in Palace archives as having been used on cricket jars and other vessels used for crickets.