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The Clock Tower, [Mandalay]

The Clock Tower, [Mandalay]

Photographer: Archaeological Survey of India

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 1004/1(16)

Item number: 1004116

Length: 20.3

Width: 14

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Cock Tower at Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar) from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Burma Circle, 1903-07. The photograph was taken in 1903 under the direction of Taw Sein Ko, the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of Burma at the time. Mandalay was founded in 1857 and became Burma’s last royal capital. At its heart was a square citadel containing the Nandaw or Royal Palace. The clock tower stood inside the

palace grounds, next to the East Gate which was the main entrance. The building consisted of a wooden platform crowned with a tiered roof, mounted on a high masonry plinth. In his ‘Guide to the Mandalay Palace’ (Rangoon, 1925), a later Superintendent of the Burma Archaeological Survey, Charles Duroiselle, described the workings of the clock tower: “It is from this platform that the passing of time was made known to the city by sounding regularly a gong and a very large drum at each watch, that is, every third hour; the day and the night were each divided into four watches. The time was marked by a clepsydra or water-clock. This consisted of a large water jar on the water of which was placed a brass bowl; in the bottom of the latter was pierced a tiny hole, its size so calculated that the bowl filled with water and dropped to the bottom of the jar at exact recurring intervals, which were the hours…The enormous drum on which the hours were sounded is now in the Phayre Museum at Rangoon.”

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