The present table is an exceptional example of its type, using thick, substantial sections of huanghuali for the top, frame, aprons and legs. As the supply of huanghuali dwindled, tables of this form generally became thinner and less impressive, owing to the fact that the material was harder and more costly to obtain. The generous proportions of the present table would therefore suggest an earlier date.
The spare, economic lines of this design make it one of the classic forms found in Chinese furniture construction. The basic proportions were adapted to make large painting tables, smaller tables, benches and stools. This form is referred to in the Classic of Lu Ban as a 'character one' table, due to its similarity in profile to the single horizontal stroke of the Chinese character for 'one'.
Several examples of this elegant form have been published. See R.H. Ellsworth, Chinese Furniture: One Hundred Examples from the Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection, New York, 1996, pp. 164-5, no. 61, where it is dated circa 1600-1650; and G. Ecke, Chinese Domestic Furniture, Vermont and Tokyo, 1962, p. 46, pl. 36.