OAs 07431

Please find more information about the object below the image.

Producer unknown to us


Asia, China, Jinan

Begin of the 20th century

Wood, bone, silk

Eduard Wagner (engineer)

Purchased by the museum from Wagner in 1911

OAs 07431

The pipa belongs to the so-called necked bowl lutes. The instrument goes back to Persian models that reached China via the Silk Road. The plate forming the upper-neck end of the instrument bears the stylized Chinese character Shòu, representing 'long life'.

Among the collectors who traveled for the museum in East Asia, Eduard Wagner was undoubtedly foremost among those who studied the cultures prevalent in China in the greatest depth. He worked in the former German colony in China, the 'German Protectorate of Kiautschou' from 1901, as a field surveyor on the construction of the Shantung railroad line and on the Chinese Tientsin-Pukow Railway, a construction project of the Chinese state, after 1909. On behalf of Karl Weule, he purchased for the museum everyday objects and models of technical equipment from Shandong Province. One aspect of his collecting activities was Chinese musical instruments, which he arranged and documented according to the classical Chinese classification system of the 'Eight Sounds'.

Dietmar Grundmann