The Hall for Ancestral Worship is home to more than 1,000 verifiable clocks once possessed by Chinese emperors, brought to the Qing and Ming courts by European represetatives from the seventeenth century through the nineteenth century. Afterward, this horological custom prospered locally, and these complicated watches were fabricated in workshops in Beijing, Suzhou, and Guangzhou. As you would envision, these clocks are particularly uncommon, and they would commonly come up for sell off once every year. Perhaps the most popular occurrences of one of these court clocks selling at closeout was in 2010, when a Qing tradition table clock got $3.8 million.
With these clocks acquiring in an incentive as of late, in any case, more have been advancing toward closeout, with up to three a year hitting the bartering block. Furthermore, that’s been causing a stir, driving a few specialists to scrutinize their authenticity.
The New York Times covers these many-sided watches, a continuous legitimate case buried in allegations of extortion, and what happens when requests surpasses the supply.
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Featured photograph credit: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times