Title: British Clocks in Eighteenth-Century China: Presents, Tribute, or Trade?
Author: Roger SMITH    
Jounal: Chinese Annals of History of Science and Technology
YEAR: 2020
Vol.: 4
No.: s
Page: 026–038
Abstract: It is commonly believed that most European clocks that reached China before the nineteenth century were sent to the emperor as diplomatic presents from European rulers, or were given to Chinese officials by European merchants in attempts to improve trading conditions. Although such presents had been given in earlier times, British records show that, by the eighteenth century when the export of clocks to China reached its height, most clocks, including the finest, reached China as private trade goods. Once in Canton (Guangzhou), the best clocks were bought by local Chinese officials for inclusion in their annual tribute to the emperor and senior members of the government in Beijing, where many of these clocks survive in the former imperial collection.