Zither (qin)

Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 1368-1644
H x W x D: 118.4 x 19.3 x 11.2 cm (46 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 4 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Musical Instrument


China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644)

To 1915
Huang Zhonghui (c.1870- after 1923), to 1915 [1]

1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Huang Zhonghui, in New York on December 14, 1915 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 1383, pg. 163, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, copy in object file. This sale may have been prompted by Yuan Shikai’s return to power. The purchase documents concerning the qin include an unusual handwritten, countersigned agreement that states, “The above sale was consummated at the time of the ascendency of China’s Imperial Throne by Yuan Shi Ki (Yuan Shikai), and it is understood by the seller and buyer that when a Republican form of Government is reestablished in China, Mr. Hwang [Huang] shall have the right to repurchase the Bronze Musical Instrument at the same price, provided Mr. Freer is alive at that time.” See agreements signed by Charles L. Freer and Huang Zhonghui, dated December 14 and December 16, 1915, copies in object file. In his 1915 diary, Freer reports that Huang visited him on Tuesday, December 14, copy in object file.

[2] See note 1. Freer’s payment dates to December 14, 1915, see copy of payment voucher in object file.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Huang Zhonghui (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1870-after 1923

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.