A small Chinese blue and white octagonal jar and cover, Chongzhen/Shunzhi, circa 1640/50.

The jar is painted with scattered sprays of peach, peony and bamboo between borders of lotus panels; the short neck decorated with a collar of ‘teeth,’ 11.8cm without cover.

There is a similar octagonal jar and cover in the Burghley Collection, CER0351.

The two probably represent: ‘A pair of small eight square blue and white Jarrs with covers to them,’ which appear in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule.

This is an inventory itemising an enormous bequest to Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703) from her mother Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689).

Such pots often appear in Dutch still life paintings and are thought to have been for preserves.


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