Se player, Han dynasty (206 b.c.–220 a.d.), 1st century b.c.–1st century a.d.
Pottery; H. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Charlotte C. and John C. Weber Collection, Gift of Charlotte C. and John C. Weber, 1994 (1994.605.85a–c)
Long zithers (instruments with string attached to both ends of a hollow wood body) of various types were developed in East Asia, and during their long history, many—notably the qin and the se, which were often paired—changed their shapes while retaining their names. The instrument depicted here is either a proto-se or a stylized rendition of the actual instrument, likely of the type found in archaeological site of the Warring States period (5th–3rd century B.C.). Unlike the se shown here, the typical example had large tuning pegs at only one end and probably more than four strings.