Small, light, and delicate, the present table is constructed from the finest zitan. A slightly smaller example is found in the Summer Palace, Beijing, illustrated by Wang Shixiang, Classic Chinese Furniture - Ming and Early Qing Dynasties, Chicago, 1986, p. 149 and 284, no. 95 (fig. 1). In his discussion of this table, Wang Shixiang relates the apron design to the cusped aprons on both horseshoe and yokeback armchairs of the late Ming period, however, the lack of elongated spandrels on the table, as would be seen on a chair, results in an overall more open and lighter design. When examining apron designs, even stronger comparisons can be made to those found on cabinets. Wang Shixiang discusses a huanghuali square-corner cabinet, then in the collection of Tianjin Cultural Relics Store, that exhibits a very similar apron design, see op cit. pp. 220-221, no. 147, and dated to the Ming dynasty. He argues that the graceful curved lines and strong beaded edge of the apron, also seen in the present table, are attributes found in the Ming dynasty.
Another table in the Beiyuzhai collection, with almost identical measurements to the table in the Summer Palace, and dated to the early Qing dynasty, is illustrated and discussed by Grace Wu Bruce in ‘Classic Chinese Furniture in Tzu-t’an Wood’, Arts of Asia, November – December 1991, pp. 138-148, fig 17. See, also, another related example with slightly more elaborately carved apron and with pierced leaf scrolls to each end in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by Hu Desheng, The Palace Museum Collection: A Treasury of Ming and Qing Dynasty Palace Furniture, Beijing, 2007, fig. 196, where he describes the design as “the minimalistic form is enhanced by the lyrical curvilinear shape of the aprons”.