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Emperor Qianlong Paid Heavily For Clock
Sep 15, 2018

The qing emperors were fond of collecting clocks and watches, no less than shunzhi, kangxi and qianlong. Each generation excels the other in its love of clocks. The emperor of qing dynasty was interested in collecting clocks and watches, which had something to do with daming. Many clocks and watches collected by the Palace Museum today, most of which were collected or made by people in those days, are beautiful in shape and exquisite in production.


In 1602, the famous Italian missionary matteo ricci welcomed a special guest at the imperial palace of emperor wanli of the Ming dynasty in Beijing. When ricci presented himself with the emperor, he brought two meetings-one big and one small bell. When the emperor saw him, he was overjoyed. In theory, the emperor had nothing to see, there is no treasure played, the palace gold and silver jade jade agate pearl is too many, but why this emperor alone to two bell so deep love? Ricci knew this well. He knew that the emperor had seen everything, and he could only win his favor by offering rare things.

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After the establishment of the qing dynasty, the royal family's interest in clocks and watches grew unabated. At that time, the foreigner, saw this point, do one's best to use his mind on the clock: sun, moon and stars, figures of horses and horses, flowers, birds, insects and fish as decoration. What is so amazing is that it can turn the sun, moon, and stars into stars through the spring, allowing the horses and chariots to move, the characters to live, flowers to bloom, birds to sing. How could the emperor keep up with such novelty? This attracted the playful and fun-loving emperor shunzhi, who called him "unknown and unheard". In addition to playing, kangxi was fond of clocks and watches. He was also diligent and eager to learn and had a strong interest in western science and technology. Kangxi didn't collect clocks just for fun.

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Qing dynasty palace pocket watch

The craziest is emperor qianlong. He spared no effort to collect all kinds of odd clocks and different watches, and ordered guangdong customs officials to buy western clocks at great expense, and he personally directed the production in the palace, which brought the collection and production of clocks to the climax of qing dynasty. In the qianlong dynasty, orders to buy, manufacture and transform clocks were everywhere.

According to the records of emperor qianlong's tribute, in the 22nd year of emperor qianlong's reign (1757), general li yongbiao, governor of guangdong customs, and general li shiyao, general of guangzhou paid tribute to "a porcelain clock with glass, and a gold-plated pavilion with an ocean view". Emperor qianlong, looking at the tribute, said, "this gold-plated pavilion is a very good one, and more of the same, and more of the same, do not cherish the price. If found, at duanyang gong a few kinds. Qin here." Emperor qianlong liked the heart of Yang zhong very pressing, therefore, when the duanyang gong, li shiyao and others in accordance with the special order of the way, presented "the size of the bell 13, gold inlay a Yang jingzhong."

Qianlong paid attention to and praised highly, which naturally promoted the development of watch making. The watchmaker then designed and improved many interesting functions for the clock, such as changing words, music birds, action figures, water law, sailing, turning flowers, rolling balls and other complicated functions, which were dazzling. In order to satisfy emperor qianlong's preference, officials from all over the coast also bought fancy western clocks and sent tribute to the emperor. This soon made qianlong the world's largest collector of watches.


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