An Unusual Kangxi Blanc de Chine Porcelain Group of of Three Musicians Playing Different Instruments in a Rocky in a Grotto, Dehua Kilns, Fujian Province, Kangxi c.1680 – 1720. One Musician Plays the Qin, the other is Clapping, and the Third a Flute (Probably Made of Bamboo).
Height : 12 cm (4 1/2 inches)
From a European Private Collection of Figures and Chinese Export Porcelain.
For a Kangxi Blanc de Chine porcelain group of this type see our `Sold Items` 22101. For a similar Blanc de Chine music group dated to the late 18th century see : Blanc de Chine, Porcelain From Dehua, A Catalogue of the Hickley Collection, Singapore (Rose Kerr & John Ayers, Art Media Resources Ltd, 2002) item 34.
Groups of this type are well known, however most are smaller and depict scholars playing Weiqi.
Qin or Guqin :
Guqin is the modern name for a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family. It has been played since ancient times, and has traditionally been favoured by scholars and literati as an instrument of great subtlety and refinement, as highlighted by the quote “a gentleman does not part with his qin or se without good reason,” as well as being associated with the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is sometimes referred to by the Chinese as “the father of Chinese music” or “the instrument of the sages”. Traditionally the instrument was called simply qin but by the twentieth century the term had come to be applied to many other musical instruments as well: the yangqin hammered dulcimer, the huqin family of bowed string instruments, and the Western piano are examples of this usage. The prefix “gu-” (meaning “ancient”) was later added for clarification. It can also be called qixianqin (lit. “seven-stringed instrument”). The guqin is not to be confused with the guzheng, another Chinese long zither also without frets, but with moveable bridges under each string. Because Robert Hans van Gulik`s famous book about the qin is called The Lore of the Chinese Lute, the guqin is sometimes inaccurately called a lute.