While some imperial zitan furniture was produced at the Beijing Palace Workshops, many pieces were also crafted in Guangdong and Suzhou specifically for the Qing Court. In 'Major features of Qing Court Zitan Furniture,' Notable Features of Main Schools of Ming and Qing Furniture, Hong Kong, 2001, pp. 98-121, Tian Jiaqing discusses the characteristics specific to some regions of manufacture of imperial zitan furniture. The author illustrates, p. 99, a very similar zitan stand (Fig. 1), which he notes is kept at the Summer Palace in Beijing, and states that zitan furniture of this type produced in Guangdong is characterized by a high or extremely high waist, engraved with an upward and downward lotus pattern. The illustrated example and the current stand share in common a high waist, a nearly identical floral scroll on the legs and shoulder, and a very similar upward and downward lotus lappet pattern on either side of the waist. Tian also mentions that Qing Court zitan is always properly polished on all sides, including those not intended for viewing. Corresponding with this statement, the exterior and interior of the current stand are both properly finished.
In another article entitled 'Chinese Furniture: The Sackler Collections,' Journal of the Classical Chinese Furniture Society, Summer 1993, p. 64, William M. Drummond illustrates a documentary zitan tea table with some features closely related to that of the current lot. While lacking a reticulated waist, and of a square form with straight legs, the table has an identical ruyi head at the top of each leg, enclosing a nearly identical floral scroll, and a similar band of lappets is carved below the waist. The table is inscribed and dated to the tenth year of the Qianlong reign, corresponding to 1745, and its inscription places it in the Yang Xin Dian, or the Hall of Mental Cultivation, in the Forbidden City in Beijing.
A high-waisted stand of very similar form, dated to the Qianlong period, is illustrated in the catalogue Zitan: The Most Noble Hardwood, My Humble House Publications, Taipei, 1996, pp. 142-3, where the author notes that stands "of such a refined nature are exceedingly rare." See, also, the pair of similar zitan stands sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 27 May 2009, lot 1812.