Although Chinese chairs were traditionally fitted with a footrest stretcher, a separate footstool was more comfortable, and in furniture arrangements, the placement of a single footstool often distinguished the highest ranked person. The beneficial use of the foot stool was described by Wen Zhenheng during the late Ming period, 'Moving the feet back and forth over the rollers excites the vital energies (jingqi) to bubble upward like a fountain'.
A similar waisted example also with two sets of three rollers of zitan wood is illustrated in Chinese Furniture, One Hundred and Three Examples from the Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection, Hong Kong, 2005, p. 119, no. 59. A related example of zhazhenmu, a wood associated with the mulberry species, formerly from the M.D. Flacks Collection, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2012, lot 2032.