the single board panelled top, terminating in everted flanges above a straight beaded-edge apron and beaded cloud-scroll spandrels, supported on square sectioned legs, with rounded fronts, terminating in slightly splayed feet, joined by square sectioned stretchers enclosing a rectangular openwork dragon panel
Tables of this type, carved with recessed legs and upturned ends, were commonly placed against a wall in the main hall of family compounds where important male visitors were received and family ceremonies took place. This design is derived from altar tables, zu
, that were used to hold meat offerings in the Eastern Zhou period. Rectangular tables with upturned ends are depicted on archaic bronze yi
vessels from this period, and a low lacquer table of this type was unearthed from a tomb in Zhaoxiang , Hubei province, and illustrated in Sarah Handler, ‘Side Tables. A Surface for Treasures and the Gods’, Chinese Furniture. Selected Articles from Orientations 1984-1999
, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 200.
Compare a slightly larger table of this type with similarly carved panels on the sides, sold in these rooms, 30th October 1987, lot 103; another, but decorated on the side panels with lingzhi, sold in our New York rooms, 19th March 2007, lot 302; and a much larger example from the Florence and Herbert Irving collection, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, illustrated in the Museum’s website, accession no. 1996.339.