Seven-string Asian long zither, chordophone, made from wood, lacquer, mother of pearl, and silk strings
Overall: 4.5 x 18.1 x 123.5 cm (1 3/4 x 7 1/8 x 48 5/8 in.)
The Charles G. King, Jr. Collection. Gift of Ralph King in memory of Charles G. King, Jr. 1918.371
The 13 studs in mother-of-pearl inlay indicate finger positions for sounding harmonics.
China’s most prestigious instrument, the guqin can be traced to the Chu culture almost 2500 years ago. By the late Ming dynasty, Jiangnan was a center of high-end guqin production.
Coated in black lacquer, this elegantly crafted instrument is inscribed on the inside, stating it was made by Zhang Ruixiu of Suzhou for Mr. Tianchi of Haiyu, also known as Yan Cheng (1547–1625). Yan was a key figure in guqin music history and founder of the Yushan school in Suzhou. Zhang Ruixiu was a guqin maker, known for achieving a supreme tone quality. Ten instruments attributed to him are known, of which this guqin has the earliest date.
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