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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Culture:Chinese (19th century)
Title:Powdered Incense Clock
Date Made:19th century
Type:Timekeeping Device
Materials:paktong with copper trim
Measurements:Overall: 2 9/16 in x 4 7/16 in; 6.5 cm x 11.3 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2009.21.a-h
Credit Line:Gift of Lawrence M. Mead

Label Text:
Specialized censers marked the passing hours by burning through different types of incense punctuated by small pieces of fragrant woods or resins. A maze-like trail of incense powders was carefully laid in damp ash in a receptacle pan using tiny implements and a stencil pattern plate. Depending on the trail's length, the incense might burn for as little as twelve hours or as long as a month. Different times of day would feature different aromas as the trail burned, with each scent selected to match the mood of the moment. These "incense clocks" were used in religious settings but were also favored by scholars and cherished as gifts.

PR, 2013

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