The table is decorated with a multitude of auspicious symbols that convey meanings of longevity and fortune. This is characteristic of the imagery from the Jiajing period which focuses primarily on propitious representations and Daoism. Although no other piece of carved lacquer furniture with this exact pattern appears to be published, the style of carving is comparable with a few Jiajing-marked lacquerware, such as the polychrome lacquer square tray similarly carved in low relief with a central Shou symbol in cursive script surrounded by peaches and flowers, illustrated in Carved Lacquer in the Collection of the Palace Museum, 1985, pl. 171.
Incense stands were commonly placed at the centre of the room where the perfumed smoke could spread, but were also sometimes used as display stands, as evident from woodblock prints. Cf. an earlier example from the Xuande period, carved in cinnabar lacquer, from the Qing Court collection, illustrated in Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (I), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Commerical Press Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 163. Ming period incense stands made of huanghuali and of similar shape to the present lot are also illustrated ibid., pls. 164-169.