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Images from The Beede Gallery

Qin, Hong Kong, ca. 1960-1973

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NMM 10032.  Qin, Hong Kong, ca. 1960-1973.

NMM 10032. Qin, Hong Kong, ca. 1960-1973. The history of the qin can be traced back more than 3,000 years to the Zhou dynasty (ca. 1100-221 BC), when it was an integral part of art music. The qin (literally, "string instrument") was played in ensemble with se (a zither with moveable bridges, predecessor to the guzheng), bells, chimes, drums, and lithophones (stones specially carved and suspended to produce tones when played like bells). Later, qin playing developed into a more personal, intimate time of reflection, known now through the literary work of sages and scholars. Ex coll.: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Board of Trustees, 2001.

Top, Side, and Back Views

Top view

Side view

Bottom view

Hollow, lacquered wooden body with seven silk strings, each consisting of hundreds of individual silk strands. Traditionally, qin lacquers included various powdered gemstones or deer horn, as well as copper dust, in hopes of enhancing the finish and, in time, the tone. For this reason, lacquer recipes are guarded closely by qin craftsmen. Simulated tortoise-shell string fastener and end brackets. Mother-of-pearl and tortoise-shell circular inlays indicating stops on bass side of strings.

Detail of Pegs

One end of body

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