Clepsydra (water clock), Canton

Clepsydra (water clock), Canton


Carstairs, Jamie




University of Bristol - Historical Photographs of China reference number: JC-s020.  This water clock was first made in about AD 1324, and was destroyed and restored many times. It was housed in the Double Gateway in the old city, Canton (Guangzhou).  Water dripped from one copper bucket to another, over a twelve hour period.  A float on the lowest bucket indicated the approximate time of day and this time was exhibited on a board outside the building.  The words on the buckets mean: Do not touch.  The notice on the left is from the National Government of China.  It requests that the buckets should not be touched as they are from the Southern Han Period (917-971).  On another post card, this clock was described as the 'The Water Clock of the King Pak Tower, Canton'.  See JC-s006.

Caption on photograph

The Water Clock This water clock is a most ancient authentic celebrated and sacred relic of Kwong Tung Province over 1300 years old. It was erected on the top story of the North Worshipping Tower which was built by Chu for the King of the South of China.



Estimated Date





Black and white photograph

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