Two of the three characters cut into the side of the foot may be read Bei yang, and seem to refer to the name of a palace built by the Qin ruler, Xiaowenwang (mid-3rd century BC). The more lengthy inscription appears to provide information relating to where the vessel was stored, its capacity, and its weight.
A bronze jar of this type unearthed in 1977 at Pingshan county, Hebei province, and dated to the Warring States period (475-221BC), not only has a lengthy dedicatory inscription on the sides, but an inscription on the foot which indicates the maker's name, the date of manufacture and the weight of the jar. See Gems of China's Cultural Relics, 1992, no. 110, where the inscriptions on the foot can be seen to be inscribed in a manner very similar to those on the present jar.
Compare, also, the hu of similar shape, but with bands encircling the body, excavated in 1968 from the tomb of Prince Liu Sheng who was the king of Zhongshan from 154 BC and died in 113 BC in Mancheng, Hebei province, illustrated in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Daguan, Qingtongjuan, Hong Kong, 1994, no. 1100, p. 306.