3017

Enquire about Inv No:3017

Your First Name (required)

Your Last Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Country (required)

Your Message

Chinese Bamboo, Horn & Bone Sheng Instrument

China
19th century

length: 41.5cm

Sold

Provenance

private collection, UK.

This Chinese wind instrument known as a sheng comprises a light, lacquered, wooden base from which seventeen bamboo reeds of varying length protrude. The mouth piece, the highest two reeds and their air inlet in the base have bone mounts. A polished horn ring encircles the bamboo reds to keep them in place.

The sheng is one of the oldest known Chinese wind instruments – the earliest images to depict the sheng date to around 3,000 years ago. Sheng instruments were used also in Vietnam and Japan. A Japanese sheng (ho sho in Japanese) dated 1849 and collected by Isabella Stewart Gardner that is very similar other than for the base is illustrated in Chong & Murai (2009, p. 415).

The example here has excellent patina and clearly dates to the nineteenth century. It comes from a private English collection and was acquired in the UK.

The horn hoop which holds the bamboo ‘reeds’ together.


A sheng player from an early Chinese Christian poster.

See here.

References

Chong, A, & N. Murai, Journeys East: Isabella Steward Gardner and Asia, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2009.

Dozens of items are added to our website each month. Be among the first to know about them.
Sign up to our monthly catalogue