Both the present lot and lot 719, another Jiajing-marked fish jar, were formerly in the collections of the acclaimed author, Henry James, and the distinguished collector, Charles A. Dana, both prominent figures in the 19th century.
Henry James, perhaps best known for his novella Daisy Miller and his short ghost story, "The Turn of the Screw", was an important figure in 19th century realist fiction. Most of his works have remained continuously in print since their first publication and have influenced generations of novelists. James had a wide range of artistic interests and occasionally wrote on the visual arts, and was an important proponent of the works of his friend, John Singer Sargent.
Charles Anderson Dana was a highly successful and influential U.S. journalist, author and government official. From 1841 to 1846 he lived and worked at Brook Farm, an experimental utopian community established in Massachusetts. In 1847 he joined the staff of the New York Tribune and in 1849 was appointed managing editor, in which capacity he actively promoted the anti-slavery cause. Upon leaving the Tribune in 1862, he was made a special investigating agent of the War Department, and from 1863 to 1865 served as Assistant Secretary of War under President Abraham Lincoln. In 1865 he went on to serve as editor of a short-lived Chicago paper, and in 1868 he became editor and part-owner of The Sun (New York), where he served until his death in 1897. In addition to his literary talents, Dana was also a noted art connoisseur and formed a remarkable collection of Chinese porcelain. His contemporaries included other noted collectors such as William Rockefeller, Heber R. Bishop, H.O. Havemeyer, James A. Garland, and J.P. Morgan.
See Rosemary Scott's essay for lot 719 for further discussion on fish jars of this type.