Saturday, 5 February 2011

Ginger jars

15. Ginger jars

This pair of ginger jars, sixteen inches high, stood either end of a long bookcase in the living room at home. I think that my father must have bought them some time before his marriage in the 1930's.
Chinese ginger jars were not just for storing ginger, they were used in a far more general way as canisters for storing any spices as well as for salt and oil.  Different coloured jars have different meanings. Ones decorated in red such as these are often inscribed with symbols for happiness and prosperity.
My mother used the jars to store any paper work that she didn't want to mislay; letters, bills or recipes cut from the paper or a magazine. This was as near as she ever got to a filing system! 

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