North American Guqin Association


The 1200 year old Tang dynasty qin

auctioned in Beijing, 2003

Translated by Christopher Evans

The Tang Dynasty qinJiu Xiao Huan Pei” is a fuxi style qin made from Chinese fir. The quality of the wood is open, and it is yellow in colour. It is inlaid with hui of freshwater mussel shell, the tuning pegs and feet are finely crafted of white jade, the bridge and nut are of red sandalwood (zitan). The craftsmanship is regular and neat. The body of the instrument is coated with vermillion lacquer containing stone over a deer horn powder base layer, repaired in succeeding dynasties with ink black, lacquer, etc. The entire body of the instrument is covered with cracks (duanwen), predominantly snake belly cracks, interspersed with some cow hair cracks. In the “dragon pool” are characters in the Tang Palace qin style about an inch in size, and in the stone vermillion lacquer a seal imprint with the characters “Zhi De bingshen”in the Han Dynasty Li Shu style. Zhide bingshen is the year 756 AD, the first year of the “Zhi De” period of the reign of Su Zong, in the early middle Tang Dynasty [as part of the ceremonies accompanying his accession, for which many new buildings, instruments etc. were required]. Above the “phoenix pool” there is the name of the qin, “Jiu Xiao Huan Pei” in incised Tang Dynasty Zhuan Shu style characters; below the “dragon pool” is engraved “qing he” in Zhuan Shu style characters. The two seals are as originally cut, still with traces of the original gold lacquer. There are two slightly later square seals with the characters “Fenyang houyi Guo Jing jia cang” (In the collection of the Fenyang[1] descendants the Guo Jing family) and “Dongpo Su Shi zhen cang” (Treasured by Su Shi, style Dongpo).

The sound of this qin is strong and pure. Formerly, it was kept by Shen Maishi, an official of the Shanghai Museum of Culture and History. Then it came into the possession of Wu Jinxiang. In his early years he took it abroad.

Other comparable Tang Dynasty qins kept in China and abroad, publicly or privately, include the “Da Sheng Yi Yin” which was kept at one time in the Forbidden City Museum in Beijing, the “Da Sheng Yi Yin” formerly kept by Beijing qin master Xi Baochen; the “Jiu Xiao Huan Pei” in the Liaoning Museum, the “Tai Gu Yi Yin” in the Liaoning Museum, the “Tai Gu Yi Yin” in the Central Conservatory collection, and the “Kumu Long Yin” in the Freer Gallery in the US.

The value and romance of the guqin must surely attract wide interest from people of all walks of life.

[1] Fenyang is in modern Shaanxi.

古琴觅知音 盛世现珍瓷

陈连勇 闫东梅

  唐代九霄环佩古琴(Lot 1274)是本场推出的重头戏。该古琴为伏羲式,杉木辶成,木质松黄。配以蚌徽。白玉制琴轸、雁足,刻工精美。岳山焦尾等均为紫檀制,工艺规整。琴身为暗石朱红漆色,鹿角灰胎,间以历代修补之墨黑、漆等。琴身通体以小蛇腹断纹为主,偶间以小牛毛断纹。龙池内有唐宫琴格式寸许大字,石朱漆隶书腹款:至德丙申。至德丙申为唐肃宗元年(公元756年),为中唐之始。琴背池上阴刻唐篆九宵环佩,是为琴名;龙池下刻清和篆印,二印均为原镌刻,尚有原填金漆痕迹。另有略晚些时的刻印两方汾阳后裔 郭京家藏东坡苏轼珍赏。此琴音质苍古,为唐琴中佼佼者。原为上海文史馆馆员沉迈士旧藏,后转让吴金祥先生递藏,早年流失海外。比照海内外公私藏家收藏的唐琴,分别有北京故宫博物院旧藏大圣遗音和北京琴家锡宝臣旧藏之大圣遗音,辽宁省博物馆藏之九霄环佩、中央音乐学院藏之太古遗音、美国弗利尔美术馆藏之枯木龙吟。古琴的珍贵和传奇经历,必将引起各界人士的广泛关注。




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