Raised tables of this sort were made in large numbers, as each monk would have had one placed before him on the floor, for formal meals. Because of their shape, with its inherant weakness, few have survived. Such tables in use are depicted in the handscrolls Kasuga Gongen Reigen Ki (dated 1309), in the Imperial Collection Tokyo, 13th scroll (illustrated by Kawada, see below, as pl. 414) and Gaki Zoshi, 12th Century, in Tokyo National Museum (illustrated by Kawada as pl. 413).
For similar tables in variations of this basic shape see Kawada Sadamu, Negoro-nuri [Negoro ware], Nihon no bijutsu, 120 (Tokyo, 1976), pl. 26, 27 and 32. The closest example in shape to the present Lot is illustrated in pl. 28.
A similar example sold in Christie's New York Rooms, 18 September 2002, Lot 207.