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Images from The Beede Gallery

Sanxian, China, ca. 1850

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NMM 1432.  Sanxian, China, mid-19th century. Sanxian side view 1 Sanxian side view 2 Sanxian back view

NMM 1432. Sanxian, China, ca. 1850. Long-necked lute. Three strings. Bent, wooden neck; resonator covered with python skin. Carved ivory tailpiece. Peghead plaque depicts garden scene. Hand-carved bat effigies on peghead and endpiece. Many cultures in Southeast Asia regard the bat as a harbinger of good luck. Floral, mother-of-pearl inlay on neck and resonator. The sanxian’s use in accompanying narrative song and as a low voice in ensemble playing has guaranteed its role in Chinese music tradition. Rawlins Fund, 1976.


Image Showing a Sanxian on an Undated Postcard, ca. 1900-1915

Sanxian on postcard


Front, Back, Sides, and Bottom of Resonator

Front of resonator
Side view #1
Side view #2
Back of resonator

Bottom of resonator

Bottom of Resonator and Endpiece

Tailpiece

Tailpiece


Pegbox

Front of peg box Back of peg box

Plaque on front Bat effigy Signature on back of pegbox

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