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Case Study: Treasures of Time, Hong Kong Science Museum

SMG partnered with the Hong Kong Science Museum on the Treasures of Time exhibition, exploring the production and trade of clocks, watches and automata between Britain and China in the 18th century.

Through a collection of complex and beautiful mechanical creations on loan from the Palace Museum in Beijing, the exhibition reveals the story of a significant episode in the history of trade and cultural relations between the two nations.

For this project, SMG loaned a collection of around 40 objects including horological hand and machine tools and pocket watches made by some of the British makers who were involved in the Chinese market trade in the 18th century. These objects are displayed in the exhibition in a diorama of an eighteenth-century horological workshop. SMG provided a research package which explores the design, production and exchange of British timepieces made for the Chinese market, as well as the personal stories of some of the key makers involved in the trade.

Image courtesy of Hong Kong Science Museum

We are proud to have partnered with the Hong Kong Science Museum on this unique project, celebrating the extraordinary horological collections and relationships of Britain and China. We look forward to further exciting collaborations with the Hong Kong Science Museum and Palace Museum in Beijing.