Philip II of Spain (r. 1556-98) granted the use of these Hapsburg arms to the Augustinian order based in the Philippines. W.S. Sargent, writing in an unpublished manuscript, notes that the Spanish Augustinians established a monastery in Macao in 1589, and also had outposts in Manila, India and Mexico. Refering to the traditional attribution of these jars to the Macao monastery, Sargent points out that the distinctive architectural motif in their decoration bears a strong relationship to the colonial church architecture of Mexico. Augustinians, Franciscans and Dominicans shared the walled church compound model, while the Augustinians in particular utilized the distinctive espadana, or wall-belfry, Sargent explains. The orders appointed their colonial outposts richly, and, indeed, these churches were "criticized by other religous orders in the 17th century for...too lavish appointments" (Sargent, The International Asian Art Fair catalogue, March 2002, p. 15).
Several similar jars are recorded in private collections in Mexico or in Portugal. Another is in the Hodroff collection and illustrated by D.S. Howard, op. cit., p. 231. An apparently unique charger with this design is in the collection of the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (see Sargent, op. cit., p. 14)