The carved decoration with bats above waves breaking on rockwork can be compared to the terrestrial diagrams found on court robes of the Qing dynasty. This type of decorative arrangment for ornament on garments consists of water, earth, and sky motifs with dragons, forming a single, integrated composition across the entire garment surface to suggest the visible universe. See J. E. Vollmer, Decoding Dragons: Status Garments in Ch'ing Dynasty China, Oregon, 1983, p. 221.
The carving on the doors is also reminiscent of textile design; see B. Jackson and D. Hugus, Ladder to the Clouds: Intrigue and Tradition in Chinese Rank, Berkeley, 1999, ch. 12, pp. 145-179.
A zitan bookshelf with finely carved nanmu panels, dated to the mid-Qing period, is illustrated in Tian Jiaqing, Classic Chinese Furniture of the Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1996, p. 233, no. 104, in addition, the author discusses how the paler colored nanmu is perfectly complemented by the dark zitan wood. Compare also a zitan bed with carved nanmu panels dated to the Qianlong period, illustrated in Zhu Jiajin, Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (II): The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2002, p. 14, no. 9.