Canopy beds have either six or four posts. It was common practice to use drapery to create a private world within a closed curtain, and examples can be seen in Ming and Qing woodblock prints. The current example is typically carved with auspicious symbols should as the Shou roundels, lingzhi fungus, and dragons. A canopy bed of comparable construction and design with backward-glancing qilin, formerly from the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture Collection, was sold at Christie's New York, 19 September 1996, lot 62. It has been mentioned that the qilin decorative motif with its association on rank badges suggested that the original owner of the bed was the wife of a high Qing official, cf. Wang Shixiang, et al., Masterpieces from the Museum of Classical Furniture, 1995.
A closely related canopy bed was included in the exhibition, Beyond the Screen, illustrated by N. Berliner in the Catalogue, 2000, no. 16. Two other related examples are known: one from the Great Mosque in Xi'an and the other in the Palace Museum, illustrated in Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (I), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2002, pp. 6-9, no.2. It has been suggested that their production was from a specialised workshop in northern China over several generations, see Curtis Evarts, Beyond the Screen, 2000, pp. 58-59.