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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




Front of peg box Back of peg box

Plaque on front Bat effigy Signature on back of pegbox

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