Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Se

Maker:
Fanfu Lou (Seal of Zha Youci)
Period:
Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Date:
19th century
Geography:
China
Culture:
Chinese
Medium:
Wood, silk
Dimensions:
L.: 182.9 cm (72 in.); W.: 43.2 cm (17 in.)
Classification:
Chordophone-Zither-plucked-long zither
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.2163
Not on view
Said to represent friendship and love when played together with the qin, the se, with its movable bridges, is plucked with both hands. This technique, unusual for Asian zithers, permits the player to sound the strings in octaves. Twenty-five multicolored silk strings reflect Chinese cosmology: five are blue, for Heaven, the Azure Dragon of the East; five are red, the luckiest color, associated with the South; four are yellow, for the Earth; the bridgeless white string is not played and symbolizes the West, space, and mourning; five are purple, an imperial color; and five are black, for the North. Se, such as this one from a Taoist temple, were used in rituals and at state ceremonies. Here, inscriptions indicate both the maker, Fanfu Lou, and the owner: "Treasure collection [of] Monk Xinzhu."
Inscription: Two inscriptions:
1) lower edge: "Fan Fu Lou Zhi" (Made [by] Fanfu Lou [home or shop name]) and a seal with top characters "chi zha" and lower characters "yin you" meaning "Seal of Zha Youchi"; 2) towards the center end: "Xin Zhu Seng Zhen Wan" (Treasured collection [of] Monk Xinzhu) and a seal that is unreadable.
trans. by James Watt (2009).
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown ; Dr. W. T. Bushell
"Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 8-9, ill.

Keyboard Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Picture Book. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1961.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Asia, Gallery 27. 2. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1903, vol. II, pg. 26.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Gallery 27. 1. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1901, vol. I, pg. 26.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13, pg. 17.



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