The vessel was ordered to be made for the Ng Shing Gung Temple. It was probably received in San Jose around 1892. We know that the Ng Shing Gung Temple was moved to Heinlenville, the fifth San Jose Chinatown, after the 1887 arson fire of the Market Street Chinatown.
Especially made for the Ng Shing Gung Temple, the donors had the name of the Temple added to the ceramic vessels. There are two on the front altar table. Another is on the floor of the Altar area in the Chinese American Historical Museum and a fourth one is on display on the first floor in the side altar area. This one was in the City of San Jose Collection Center. Cobalt Blue glaze was popular during this time period. This altar vessel was used to hold incense sticks and candles lit by worshipers.
This object was featured in the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)'s exhibit, "Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History," October 17, 2019 - March 22, 2020.
– Chinese Historical & Cultural Project