The spare, economic lines of this design make it one of the classic forms of Chinese furniture. 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 Splendor of Style: Classical Furniture from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, National Museum of History, Taipei, 1999, p. 143, for a large huanghuali recessed-leg painting table of similar form, dated to the 16th or 17th century. See, also, G. Ecke, Chinese Domestic Furniture, Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, Japan, 1962, pl. 46, no. 36 for another example in huanghuali.
Compare, also, the huanghuali recessed-leg painting table formerly in the collection of the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture, sold in these rooms, 19 September 1996, lot 16, where it was dated to the late 16th/early 17th century.