This large tray is quite realistic in its depiction of a graceful banana leaf, with the slight separations between the strips of spotted bamboo mimicking the fine radiating veins of the leaf. The black lacquer used for the central vein and the outer edges creates a dramatic contrast to the warm colors of the elegantly spotted bamboo.
A smaller (10 1/8 in. long) spotted bamboo tray of this type, originally in the collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, was illustrated by Ellsworth in Chinese Furniture, New York, 1982, p. 104, col. pl. 31, and was published again by Mary Gardiner Neill, The Communion of Scholars: Chinese Art at Yale, China Institute, New York, 1982, p. 133, no. 59 f. Unlike the present tray, the Ellsworth/Yale example has a hongmu vein and edges, and has a solid outline rather than the naturalistic split of the Flacks tray. This split combined with the elegantly spaced spots creates a sense of movement not seen in the Yale tray.