This table displays classic banzhuo, or 'half-table' proportions with refined embellishment. Rare and unusual features include the round-section legs with cabriole tops, diagonal dragon spandrels, and the slim 'lotus leaf waist'. The apron carved with confronted phoenix flanking the sun (shuangfeng chaoyang) refers to the arrival of a time of talents. These special characteristics appear on two other known tables, one formerly in the collection of Wang Shixiang, now in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated by Wang Shixiang, Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing Dynasties, Hong Kong, 1990, vol. II, p. 80, B43; the other illustrated by N. Berliner, Beyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1996, pp. 134-135, no. 22. A similar banzhuo table without 'garlic head' feet is illustrated by Grace Wu Bruce, Chan Chair and Qin Bench: The Dr. S.Y. Yip Collection of Classical Chinese Furniture II, Hong Kong, 1998, pp. 90-91, no. 16.
It is possible that all of the above tables were made in the same workshop. Wang Shixiang has compared the bird and flowering branch carving (zhezhi huaniao) on the end aprons to Wanli porcelain, and the "lotus leaf waist" to rims on Yuan and Ming porcelain, dating the table to the Wanli period. For a thorough discussion of this lot, see C. Evart's introductory essay, "Splendor of Chinese Classical Furniture: Highlights from the Gangolf Geis Collection", pp.10-12 of this catalogue. Also see detail of diagonal dragon spandrel of this lot on previous page.