abacus

Abacus, suanpan, kept in a qin'-shaped, Chinese lute, dark wooden box with natural-coloured wooden lid. It is divided into two sections by a crossbeam with natural-coloured wooden beads sliding up and down 18 parallel brass runners, each of which has two beads above and five beads below. There is a rectangular box next to the abacus for storage. Top of the lid is decorated on one end with inlaid endless knot design made of ivory and dark wood and a band of small ivory discs set in dark wood; the other end with inlaid shou, longevity, character flanked by two scrolling dragons made of horn. The transverse sides of the box are inlaid with ivory endless knots design alternating with green gemstone discs.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk