558
558

PROPERTY FROM THE ZI TONG TANG COLLECTION

THE 'SU XIN' QIN
A RARE INSCRIBED LACQUERED ZITHER
SONG DYNASTY
Estimate
2,000,0002,500,000
JUMP TO LOT
558

PROPERTY FROM THE ZI TONG TANG COLLECTION

THE 'SU XIN' QIN
A RARE INSCRIBED LACQUERED ZITHER
SONG DYNASTY
Estimate
2,000,0002,500,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

THE 'SU XIN' QIN
A RARE INSCRIBED LACQUERED ZITHER
SONG DYNASTY
of Confucius (Zhongni) type, the gently tapering body modelled with a gently convex upper surface with subtly sunken edges along the neck and waist, the underside with two peg guards on one end, supporting the musical instrument with seven tuning pegs and two circular goose feet, all made of ox horn, the front inlaid vertically with thirteen studs (hui), the reverse with a rectangular phoenix pond and dragon pool, interrupted by an incised seal inscription reading Su Xin ('Pure Heart') and the pair of goose feet, each stringing three or four of the seven chords, all above a couplet excerpted from Li Qi's poem flanking the dragon pool, further decorated with two seal marks below the dragon pool, a circular one reading Shangao shuichang ('[nobility and character] as high as the mountains and as long as the rivers') and a square one reading Guzhi yifeng ('remnant patterns from ancient times'), the evenly lacquered surface with a dense network of fine crackles
Total length: 125.8 cm, 49 1/2  in.
Effective strength length: 115.3 cm, 45 3/8  in.
Shoulder width: 20.3 cm, 8 in.
Tail width: 13.9 cm, 5 1/2  in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Catalogue Note

The 'Pure Heart' Qin from the Song Dynasty

The present qin is of zhongni type and is adorned with mother-of-pearl studs (hui). The goose-feet and turning pegs are made of ox horn. Originally lacquered in black, the surface of the qin shows mottles in a chestnut-brown colour as well as signs of previous restorations. The reverse shows ice-like crackling, and the top mostly crackling in the form of flowing water and waves. The title of the instrument, the inscription, and the seals are all carved on the reverse.

Inscription between the goose feet and dragon pool, in seal script and measuring slightly over 2 inches: “Suxin” [Pure Heart]

Inscription on each side of the dragon pool:

Wielding a ruyi scepter as flowers fall from Heaven,
Resting in an unoccupied house amidst dense spring grass.

These two lines are taken from Tang dynasty poet Li Qi’s poem, On Ruigong’s Mountain Pond.

Above the dragon pool are a round seal and a rectangular seal, which read respectively Gu zhi yi feng ('[nobility and character] as high as the mountains and as long as the rivers') and Shan gao shui chang ('the mountains are tall, the rivers long').

This qin is slightly oversized. The shoulder measures two and a half hui, thus appearing narrow. The qin face is somewhat flat. As a classical saying goes, Tang-dynasty qin were round, and Song-dynasty ones flat. In a meeting of qin collectors in the 1990s, Zheng Minzhong dated this qin to the Song Dynasty.

Teo Kheng Chong

Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong