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Rare British clock gifted to Chinese royals up for auction

Updated: 2015-12-01 07:58:32

( China Daily )

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The 18th-century gilded-bronze chime clock by a British craftsman will go under the hammer on Monday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

An 18th-century British clock, once kept at a Chinese royal court, is among a dozen antiquities that will be sold at a night auction on Monday in Beijing.

At a height of 1.02 meters, the gilded-bronze chime clock exemplifies British clock-making techniques during the reign of George III (1738-1820). The timepiece, manufactured by craftsman Peter Torckler around 1780, was custom-made to meet the artistic demands of a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) royal court.

The clock, which will go under the hammer in Poly Auction's saleroom, features both an intricate appearance and complicate design.

It is an assembly of five parts, and the base is a music box which sits on four legs, each sculpted into a Chinese man. The music box is embossed with landscapes and has four "shui fa (waterworks)" fountain designs.

On top of this is another pedestal that looks like a gold mountain. Inside this is the timing mechanism. It has a dial on one side and on the other side is a music plate which shows six compositions the clock can play.

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