Tables of this design derive from altar tables, zu, that were used to hold meat offerings from as early as the Eastern Zhou dynasty (771-256 BC). Rectangular tables with upturned ends are depicted on archaic bronze yi vessels from this period, and a low lacquered table with upturned flanges, unearthed from a tomb in Zhaoxiang, Hubei province, and attributed to the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 BC), is illustrated in Sarah Handler, ‘Side Tables. A Surface for Treasures and the Gods’, Chinese Furniture. Selected Articles from Orientations1984-1999, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 200.
A table of similar proportions but lacking the carved dragons on the aprons, was sold in our New York rooms, 9th/10th October 1987, lot 454; and another from the collection of Philip Wood, was sold at Christie’s New York, 15th September 2011, lot 1333.
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