A black lacquer bowl-stand of similar size and shape is in the collection of Los Angeles County Museum, illustrated in Hai-wai Yi-chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections: Lacquerware, Taibei, 1987, no. 24. A brown lacquer cup-stand with bracket lobed rim dated to the Song period is illustrated by C. Shangraw, 'Chinese Lacquers in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco', Orientations, April, 1986, p. 28. The San Francisco example has slightly different proportions (18.4 cm. diam., and 8.4 cm. high), eight lobes and the bowl has an inverted rim.
A point of note on this present bowl-stand is the remarkable thinness of the material which is probably 'bodiless', that is, made using the technique, similar to that of the San Francisco example, where lacquer is applied to a fabric body. The fabric-constructed San Francisco bowl-stand was made in three separate parts: cup, flange and foot, held together by wooden pegs; for a detailed discussion by C. Shangraw, see ibid., p. 28.
This unusual form is derived from a shape much favoured by Song dynasty aesthetics as evidenced by ceramic examples such as the Ru ware cup-stand with bow-shaped petals (rather than bracket-lobed petals), in the British Museum, illustrated by J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum Book of Chinese Art, 1992, p. 244, fig. 179, where the author stated that the lacquer version was marginally higher in status than Ru ware. This form also appeared in Qingbai wares and was depicted in a well-known late Song painting, Night Entertainment of Han Xizai, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by Wu Hung, The Double Screen: Medium and Representation in Chinese Painting, p. 31, fig. 13. An example of this form of bowl-stand appears as part of a table setting surrounded by gentlemen officials in a drinking scene. A lacquer bowl-stand is also depicted on a wall painting from an 11th-12th century Liao dynasty tomb in Hebei province, showing the preparation and drinking of tea, illustrated by J. Rawson (ed.), ibid., 1992, fig. 154.
The highly decorative six-bracket lobed form is also seen on a tiered box with etched-gold decoration excavated from a Southern Song tomb dated to A.D. 1279 in Wujin County, Jiangsu Province in 1977/8, illustrated by J. Cheng, Ji Jiangsu Wujin jinxin chutu de Nan Song zhenbao qiqi, 'Important newly excavated Southern Song lacquers from Wujin, Jiangsu', Wenwu, 1979, no. 3, p. 46, pl. 2, figs. 4 and 6.