The scene on this rare jar almost certainly depicts an episode from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, although the specific scenes are difficult to identify. However, the composition and painting style, especially that of the two figures holding lanterns, can be compared to that seen on the large brush pot in the Curtis Collection (lot 3533). It is likely that the inspiration for the decoration on both vessels may have come from the same illustrated edition of the story, and indeed that the two vessels may have been painted in the same workshop, although probably not by the same hand.
Another rare jar of similar shape with very low-domed cover, also decorated in underglaze blue but with birds perched on flowering branches, is in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by Chen Runmin in Selected Chinese Ceramics from the Palace Museum (Volume 1): Blue and White Ceramics in Shunzhi and Kangxi Periods (Qing Shunzhi Kangxi chao qing hua ci), Beijing, 2005, p. 70, no. 35.