The moulded edge of the frame, wrap-round stretchers and the round legs are all derived from bamboo furniture construction. Games tables are a rare form, and square games tables with simulated bamboo motif even more so. In the Ming and Qing periods, special games tables were fitted with various boards and containers for games pieces. Since double sixes, chess and weiqi were all popular Ming and Qing board games, it was convenient to have all the equipment needed to play them in one table. The austere and classical exterior of the present lot conceals a compact and intricate arrangement of the boards and containers for game pieces that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical for its purpose as both a dining table and an after-dinning games table.
Compare a similar huanghuali square game table in Dr S.Y. Yip's collection, illustrated by Grace Wu Bruce, Dreams of Chu Tan Chamber and Romance with Huanghuali Wood: The Dr. S.Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture, Hong Kong, 1991, cat. 28, pp. 82-83. Another square zitan example in the T. T. Tsui Museum of Art , Hong Kong, is illustrated by Sarah Handler, Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2001, p. 201, fig. 12.19. A huanghuali square games table previously in the Gangolf Geis Collection and was sold at New York Christie's, 18 September 2003, lot 21.