Decorative stone panels have long been prized by the literati for their abstract imagery and complex patterns. Often evoking dramatic landscapes, these panels were set into tables, display stands or screens. Table screens, such as the present example, were set on the scholar's desk to encourage reflection.
Compare, a larger green marble-inset table screen (64.8 cm.), with more elaborately carved huanghuali frame, dating to the late 16th-early 17th century, currently in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and illustrated by R. Jacobsen, Classical Chinese Furniture in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 1999, pp. 208-9, pl. 78.