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Zither (qin)

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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

about 1550–1650

Object Place



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


Musical Instruments


Musical instruments, Chordophones