The form of this rare porcelain vessel is based on that of an archaic bronze form known as a jue, used for heating and pouring wine during Shang dynasty rituals. Such vessels were often dedicated for temple use as altar vessels, but from the Ming dynasty, porcelain jue were preferred over those made of metal. A white porcelain jue dated to the Yongle period excavated in 1982 on the site of the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen, was included in the Exhibition of Imperial Porcelain of the Yongle and Xuande Periods Excavated from the Site of the Ming Imperial Factory at Jingdezhen, and was illustrated in the Catalogue, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 116, where it is noted that the first Ming emperor, Hongwu, ordered white porcelain jue to be used in sacrificial ceremonies. A very similar Qianlong-marked white-glazed jue-form vessel is illustrated in Art & Imitation, The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, 2006, p. 214, no. 92, where it is noted that white was the colour used at the Altar of the Moon.