The archer's vase, touhu, was used for a party game and can be traced back to pre-Buddhist times. The aim was to throw the highest number of arrows into the two cylindrical 'handles', and the loser of the game was punished by having to drain a beaker of wine. Han dynasty reliefs depict this game, and porcelain vases of this form can be found during the Southern Song dynasty.
Compare the similar archer's vase in the Uldry Collection, illustrated in H. Brinker and A. Lutz, Chinesisches Cloisonné - Die Sammlung Pierre Uldry, Museum Rietberg, Zurich 1985, pl.17, where it is dated to the first half of the 15th century.
An almost identical arrow vase was sold in our London Rooms, 16 November 1998, lot 2.