The prominent themes of archaism and imitation in Chinese art reached their pinnacle during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), fuelled by the Kangxi (1662-1722), Yongzheng (1723-1735) and Qianlong (1736-1795) emperors all being renowned as avid collectors of antiques. The shape of the present vessel is based on the Shang dynasty bronze jia, a ritual vessel associated with libation, which would have contained wine. Several fine examples of the bronze prototype can be found in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, illustrated by Robert W. Bagley in Shang Ritual Bronzes in the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, Washington D.C., 1987, pp. 148-177, nos. 2-11.
A smaller (17.3 cm. high) jade jia carved with similar decoration in the collection of Pierre de Menasce was included in the exhibition, Chinese jade throughout the ages, London, 1975, no. 444.