Zither (qin) inscribed with the name “Dragon’s Moan.”

Historical period(s)
Tang to Northern Song dynasty, 618-1127
Lacquer over wood; pegs and keys of jade; stops inlaid with metal; silk strings. Pegs, keys, and strings are replacements.
H x W x D: 123.2 x 20.9 x 11.2 cm (48 1/2 x 8 1/4 x 4 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Musical Instrument

Zither (qin)

China, Northern Song dynasty (960 - 1127), Tang dynasty (618 - 907)
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The scalloped outline of this zither and its slightly thick sound box are considered typical features of Song dynasty (960–1127) or earlier instruments. Due to reasons including wear from use, tuning pegs and string anchors are often replaced several times in an instrument's lifetime. The present jade examples are therefore likely to be later replacements. A difficult to read inscription inside the zither that has been examined with infrared technology seems to contain a date corresponding to a year in the reign period between 1008-1017. It is not known if this date is the date of manufacture or a date of an early restoration of the instrument.

Published References
  • Minzong Zheng. Unknown title. vol. 10 Hong Kong, 1992 - 1993. pp. 35-37.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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