Prince Lu Guqin (古琴 )

Prince Lu (Chinese, 1628–1644)1634

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, United States

Many Ming dynasty princes, starting with the sons of the founder and continuing until the last generation before the dynasty's fall in the mid-seventeenth century, were accomplished musicians, and some made important contributions to musicology and musical theory. The first prince of Lu (1568–1614), brother of Emperor Shenzhong (Wanli), was an immensely rich man, and hundreds of qin were made for his household and descendants in the last years of the Ming dynasty. Zhu Changfang (1608-1646), the last prince of Lu, commissioned hundreds of guqin. All bear the inscription of the Princedom of Lu, and all are numbered. About ten Prince Lu qin are extant; the one in the Metropolitan Museum, number 18, dated 1634, is the earliest. The highest-numbered Prince Lu qin known is number 295. It is dated 1644, the year the Ming dynasty came to an end.


  • Title: Prince Lu Guqin (古琴 )
  • Creator: Prince Lu (Chinese, 1628–1644)
  • Location Created: China
  • Type: Chordophone-Zither-plucked-long zither
  • External Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Collection Online
  • Medium: Wood (wutong and zi), silk, jade, lacquer, mother-of-pearl
  • Dimensions: Height: 7 3/16 in. (18.2 cm) Width: 47 11/16 in. (121.2 cm) Depth: 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
  • Date Created: 1634 (Ming dynasty), 1634
  • Culture: Chinese
  • Credit Line: Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, Seymour Fund, The Boston Foundation Gift, Gift of Elizabeth M. Riley, by exchange, and funds from various donors, 1999
  • Creator Death Date: 1644
  • Creator Birth Date: 1628
  • Accession Number: 1999.93

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