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
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