The inscription, mei jiu qing xiang, may be translated, 'excellent wine, clear and fragrant.'
The same inscription can be seen carved in relief in panels on a jar of this shape with cover illustrated by J. Ayers, The Baur Collection, Chinese Ceramics, vol. I, London, 1968, A 108. It is also on an ovoid jar illustrated by R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, vol. I, London, 1986, p. 371, no. 537; and on a meiping in the Victoria and Albert Museum illustrated by R. Kerr (ed.), Chinese Art and Design: Art Objects in Ritual and Daily Life, New York, 1991, p. 167, no. 73, where the author notes, p. 164, the inscription may be a trademark.