Henan Museum
“Shi Quan” Seven-stringed Guqin
Edit: Acf
Time: 2024-01-15 11:24:54
Period: The Second Year of Longxing period of Emperor Xiaozong of the Southern Song dynasty
Provenance: From other collector
Measurements: L.121 cm, W. 19.2 cm, Thk. 4 cm.


Being the Zhongni (Confucius)-style of the Southern Song dynasty, graceful in shape, mono colored, covered completely by black lacquer, the guqin is made up of the frontal board and the base plate that were glued together. Specifically, it can be subdivided into the parts of head, neck, shoulders, waist, tail, and feet. The frontal board, made of a piece of paulownia timber, has seven strings, the outer side was made 13 Hui marks for indicating the locations of Fan Yin or Harmonics and phonemes, but the extant 11 marks are visible. The base board is made of brittle wood, it is flat and slightly arched in shape. An inscription of five Chinese characters lit. “Made in the Second Year of Longxing” were carved inside the Guqin. Due to the long time it endured, the surface shows some crackings, just like the snake belly, hence it is also known as “snake belly pattern Guqin”.


Guqin, also known as “Yaoqin, Yuqin, Seven-stringed Qin”, is a pluck musical instrument with the longest history in Chinese music. Literati of all ages have not only used it as an accompanying instrument for songs, but also have the Confucian concepts integrate into the understanding and study of guqin music, making it an embodiment of sufficient sage-admiring thoughts and the spirit of rites and music over the past thousands of years.