Canopy beds were grand status symbols that dominated the main bedrooms of the women's quarters. In spite of their size and chief function as curtained sleeping platforms they were amazingly versatile. With curtains drawn back, canopied beds were used as formal couches from which the woman of the house held audience and conducted business. With the addition of low tables they could be used for playing board games, informal dining, or drinking tea with guests.
Datable to late Ming, this beautiful work is made of substantial timber throughout. The near semi-circular legs are exceptionally powerful, and the simple openwork designs of the continuous railings are less elaborate than the beds of early Ch'ing whose decoration is emphasized over form.