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"Qins in captivity"?   Silk Strings   Tassels   Tuning Pegs   Studs   Qin body diagrams 首頁
Qins in Public and Private Collections  

This listing is by no means exhaustive:1 there are many others, as well as the qins in private collections; links add further comments. In most cases the museums and collectors are performing a valuable service. In other cases it seems that these qins are simply "in captivity".

In Asia two of the most ancient qins are in Japan, while the most the most notable large collections are in the National Palace Museums in Beijing and Taipei as well as in the Zhejiang Museum, Hangzhou. Some are usually on display. Qins are also in museums elsewhere in the Chinese world, as well as in Japan and Korea; but, other than the two Japanese instruments mentioned below, that is beyond the scope of this page.

The following list is mainly limited to those qins which I actually have seen, so it is by no means an inclusive list. I would welcome further information to help me expand the list.

Museums in Japan

  1. Nara
    Shoso-In (Wiki): this Tang dynasty inlaid qin (images) is described in Van Gulik, Lore, p.200 ff (images between pp. 196-7 discussed further here under Buddhism and the Qin).
  2. Tokyo
    National Museum: Tang qin; commentary with an online image says it was made in the year 724 in 九隴縣 Jiulong County, Sichuan, near Chengdu. A Chinese site says it was probably made by the Lei family. It is described by Van Gulik, ibid, p.223 (color plate between pp. 192-3), as being in the 法隆寺寶物館 Horyuji Homotsukan, Tokyo: Wiki says that in 1878 the Horyuji in Nara donated 300 objects to the imperial collection in Tokyo, so perhaps this was one of the objects donated.

Museums in North America

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Stearns Music Instrument Collection, University of Michigan

  2. Boston, Massachusetts
    Boston Museum of Fine Arts

  3. Denver, Colorado
    Denver Art Museum

  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
    Honolulu Academy of Arts

  5. New York, New York
    Metropolitan Museum of New York

  6. Washington, D.C.
    Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Museum

Museums in Europe

  1. London, England: Horniman Museum (100 London Road, Forest Hill)
    a mid 19th century qin, part of a display of Chinese instruments divided according to "ba yin (eight sound [producers]);
    qin is in the silk category (information from Christopher Evans)

  2. Cambridge, England
    Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University.
    Silk strings; in horizontal storage

  3. Oxford, England
    Pitt River Museum in Oxford. ("Access the objects...", Catalogue #1895.53.8)
    Silk strings; displayed horizontally

  4. Berlin, Germany
    Museum fur Volkerkunde (Ethnography Museum).
    A rather new instrument; stored horizontally.

  5. Moscow, Russia
    Glinka Museum of Music Culture
    One instrument on display, lacquer had some cracking; one listed as in storage.

Again, I would be grateful to hear about others.

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Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Museums with qins
The museums with qins in their collections listed here include mostly ones which I have visited in person.
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