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Gilded Copper Clock with a Floating Pagoda

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Period: Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: gilded copper, enamel, and glass
Date: undated
Origin: Guangzhou
Dimensions: height: 103 cm, length: 35 cm, width: 35 cm

The centerpiece of this clock is an elegant building in the style of a traditional Chinese pagoda, replete with gold trimmings on the double eaves of the roof. The gilded frame is covered in blue enamel decorated with peony blossoms and inlaid with vermillion and white glass. The square stand, supported by tendril-shaped feet, contains the clock dial and decorative waterfalls on each side. The top of the stand is incised with wave patterns, recreating a miniature ocean. From the center of this ocean rises the head of a huge dragon; a gushing sprout of water comes out of its mouth on top of which rests the pagoda. The God of Longevity sits in the pagoda's central door while the Eight Immortals come out of the two side doors. The clock's mechanism is in the back of the stand and when activated music plays, the curtains slowly rise and all the figures come out of the pagoda, creating a scene of great celebration. When the music stops, they retreat back into the building. The ingenious design and exquisite decorations make this clock an object for enjoyment rather than for use.

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