Suan-p'an, or Chinese Abacus


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.

Date Made: ca 1925

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Mathematics

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Abacus, Science & Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Frank A. Taylor

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MA.309527Catalog Number: 309527Accession Number: 104133

Object Name: abacus

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


Record Id: nmah_690528

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