This particular shape is known as a ‘hu’: a vase of baluster-shape, copied from bronze vessels. The form is characterised by a pear-shaped body, which continues upwards in a sinuous curve towards a generous opening (often covered with a lid). The hu type appears to have originated during the Shang Period (1600 – 1045 BC). In the Han dynasty, it was often used for storing food: indeed, many have been found in tombs, filled with foodstuffs to sustain the deceased in the afterlife.
The dark green glaze is intended to imitate the patination of bronze. Vases of this kind were made predominantly in the Yue region, and were high-fired with a wash slip that contained a high proportion of iron. Indeed, the colour is produced by the reaction between the iron and heat.
A Thermoluminescense Analysis Report (TL Report) from Oxford Authentication Ltd is also provided with the item to confirm its date.