For dining, writing, appreciating antiques, or playing games, the square table is the most versatile in Chinese furniture. The high, humpback stretcher of the present lot strengthens the table while lightening the overall appearance, and not interfering with the knees of the sitters.
A similar table, the apron also carved with scrolling dragons, is illustrated by S. Handler, Ming Furniture in the Light of Chinese Architecture, Berkeley and Toronto, 2005, p. 167. See, also, M. Beurdeley, Chinese Furniture, Tokyo and New York, 1979, pl. 126, for a similar example dated to the late Ming period, in the Compagnie de la Chine et des Indes Collection, Paris.
A huanghuali square table of similar proportions, carved on the aprons with dragons and archaistic scroll, is in the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 54 -Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (II), Hong Kong, 2002, p. 98, no. 86, where it is dated to the Qianlong period.