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Honolulu Academy of Arts

One Ming or Qing dynasty qin generally on display, hanging on a wall near other scholars' objects. The catalogue entry (4148.1) says,

"Black lacquer zither. Zither has carved wooden pegs embellished with silk cords; two rows of carved calligraphy on back and two carved seals.... Inside cover (not on display) is of white silk with painting of rock forms, and with two rows of calligraphy in black and one red seal. Outside cover is of gold brocaded silk....15th-17th c."

The instrument is elegant but somewhat small: the string vibrating length is 41 1/4" (44" is more standard). It has straight cracks in the lacquer, appropriate to its age. It looks potentially in playing condition, but to my knowledge this has not been tested recently. The inscription on the back, dated Daoguang renzhen mengdong (Beginning of winter, 1832 CE), is signed Lu Zhitian.1 Inscriptions often come long after an instrument is made, but I do not know how the Academy made its dating.

The qin was purchased in 1973 from David Kidd in Japan. Kidd, a famous art collector and aesthete, was a long time resident of Kyoto, but from 1946 to 1950 he lived in Beijing. His book Peking Story tells of his marriage to the daughter of an aristocratic Beijing family. This might account for his having had a qin in Japan.

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 陸芝田 Lu Zhitian
42620.xxx; Zhitian is a common nickname. The original inscription is as follows:

雖非魚桐製仿良工體凝六合象協八風指入絃中音傳
指外靜與心涵神與古會。
道光壬辰孟冬
余式如銘 (then two seals)
陸芝田銹 ("Written by Lu Zhitian")
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