As early as the Shang dynasty ( about 3,000 years ago), the chinese potters began production of proto-porcelain. By the Eastern Han period, mature green-glazed porcelains were produced. The green glaze was brilliant and glossy.  During the century from the Three Kingdoms to Western Jin (220-316), the kilns of Zhejiang produced large amount of greenwares.  Many vessels took on animal-form such as candle stands which looked like the sheep or lion, lamps which looked like bears, as well as bird cups, chicken-head ewers and frog-like cups. They were both artistic and functional. Large amount funerary wares such as modelled  granaries, stoves, wells, mills were also produced to meet the ostentacious and extravagant burial custom then. 

There are some general features common to greenwares produced in Zhejiang region.  The body material is pale grey and close-grained.  Most of the vessels were supported with small lumps of clays as spurs to prevent the pottery from sticking to the kiln floor during  firing.  As a result, base had pale patches haloed in reddish brown (see below picture).  The glaze tended to be uneven (with varying thickness) and the color can vary from brownish yellow to greyish green depending on whether the reduction firing atmosphere is successful (see below picture).

There were some imitations of Jin greenware found during the early 20th century basically due to the demands from the western countries.  However, the best imitations were made in the last two decades.  The chinese have carried out many scientific analysis of the body and glaze material used for Yue ware.  Many experiments were carried out to reproduce the old greenwares.  The aim of the researchers were to rediscover the technology and method to produce early greenwares.  Unfortunately,  because of the commercial value of the old pieces,  it ended up as tools for production of fakes.  One favourite targetted category is those animal-form vessels.

I have selected the below imitation of a lion-shaped candle holder to highlight some differences between the old and new pieces:

the features of the imitation lion appears sharp (see below pictures).  The edges and lines are sharp whereas on the genuine piece (see the above picture) the edges are more rounded.
the glaze on the imitation also appears to be uneven as on genuine pieces.  However, on closer examination, it is actually much more  uneven and appeared too mottled as compared to the genuine ones.  In other word, the uneveness and "mottledness" is over-exaggerated.
the feel of the glaze on the imitation is sticky whereas it is smooth on the genuine pieces.
the unglaze portion of the imitation is also  reddish brown color in color (see the below picture).  However, it appears wet whereas on the genuine pieces it usually looks dry (compare with above picture).  Another peculiarity is the blackish grits found on the base (in this instance the foot of the lion).  It is highly unusual as on the genuine pieces they are not present.




on genuine pieces, the glaze may appear glossy. However, on most instances you would find the glaze suffers a certain degree of deterioration and appear powdery (see below picture). 


I hope the above would be of some help to new collectors.