Zither (qin)

about 1550–1650

Object Place: China


Length 121 cm, width 19 cm, height 8.7 cm (Length 47 5/8 in., width 7 1/2 in., height 3 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wutong wood, zi wood

Not On View


Musical Instruments




Incised on bottom; [in Chinese characters: Music surviving from remote antiquity]; seal incised on bottom: To be treasured by sons and grandsons; in ink on the inside of the face board: [Chinese characters: (Constructed ?) in the 2nd year of the Tian Xing Period of the Da Jin (Great Jin) Dynasty (i.e., 1233 AD)].


Reportedly owned by Prince Ting, an uncle of Emperor Hsuan Tung, Beijing, China; by 1932, acquired from Prince Ting's palace by T. C. Fitz Hugh (dealer), Beijing; 1932, sold by Hugh to Mrs. Walter (Mollie B.) May, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; 1940, apparently by descent to Paul B. Affelder (1915-1975), New York; 1975, by inheritance to his wife, Jane E. Affelder, New York; 1981, gift of Affelder to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 13, 1982)

Credit Line

Gift of Jane E. Affelder in memory of Paul B. Affelder