Suan-p'an, or Chinese Abacus

Description
This instrument sits in a rosewood box with rosewood cross piece. Fifteen parallel bamboo rods pass through the cross piece. Each rod has two wooden beads above and five below the cross piece. The beads are rounded, like those on other Chinese abaci. Brass corner pieces hold the box together.
Frank A.Taylor, a staff member in the Department of Arts and Industries at the United States National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, first lent the abacus to the National Collections in 1928 for use in a display of calculating instruments. He lent the object as an example of a modern Chinese abacus. He donated it in 1960.There is no mark by a maker.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
abacus
date made
ca 1925
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
rosewood (overall material)
bamboo (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2.7 cm x 37 cm x 17 cm; 1 1/16 in x 14 9/16 in x 6 11/16 in
ID Number
MA*309527
catalog number
309527
accession number
104133
subject
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Abacus
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Abacus
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Frank A. Taylor

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Approved comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot help you identify your own artifacts or tell you how much they are worth.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.