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In the movie "Girl with a Pearl Earring" there's a Chinese piece of tableware, presented on the image below (center of the image, blurred):

China dish

  1. What's the name of this dish?
  2. What has it been used for?

It's a screen shot taken from a DVD release, hence the quality.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I'm pretty sure that it is a tulip vase. The movie takes place in the Dutch Republic (today known as The Netherlands) which has been known for centuries for tulips, even suffering a "tulip mania" craze a few years before Vermeer's birth. The lidded design allows the water for the flowers to be freshened easily while the multiple spouts support the flowers' stems. This blue on white china is called Delftware, named for the city of Delft where both it and Vermeer came from.

Delft Vases

Vases & Delft Marks

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