Yuthok Bridge and Potala Palace, Lhasa

Yuthok Bridge and Potala Palace, Lhasa

1998.131.271.1 (Print black & white)

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Photographer's handlist

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

October 1936


Lhasa > Yuthok Sampa

Accession number


Image Dimensions

123 x 172 mm

Donkeys coming through the Turquoise Bridge, or Yuthok Sampa. Potala and snow-covered mountains in the background. Turquoise Bridge, so called because of its turquoise tiled roof.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

C.8.4 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number



'Lhasa the Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto and Windus, 1940 [view list of illustrations]

Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The back of the duplicate print is covered in crop and other instructions on how to reproduce the image. Other marks include the reference 'C-8-4' written on the back of the print in pencil in the centre, and '23a' written in the top left hand corner [MS 18/2/2005]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Turquoise bridge and donkeys coming through city'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 1, From Gangtok to the Natu La August 1936: ‘36/4 - donkeys carrying firewood over Turquoise Bridge. Notice dragons’ heads on corners of roof and Potala in background [C.8.7 listed]’ [MS 16/03/2006]

Research publication - Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya (eds.) 'Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947', Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2003, p.94

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.8' comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Potala and Lhasa, officials coming through Pargo Kaling, the Turquoise Bridge, Tsarong, Trimon, views from and of Sera, a woman washing clothes, a shepherd with a sling and football teams. They seem to have been taken October 13th - 20th 1936 [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Cultural Background

Other Information - Cultural Background: Pack mules passing through the Yuthok Sampa (Turquoise Bridge) so named because of the turquoise glazed tiles on its roof. The Potala Palace is visible beyond. Spencer Chapman notes that beggars sat at each end of the bridge and that the same ones appeared each day: “a blind man with a tiny black beard and a small yellow dog, a wrinkled white-haired old woman, and two youngish men revolving prayer-wheels”. (1938:150) The original structure dates back to the 7th century but it is now destroyed [CH 2003]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Yuthok Bridge and Potala Palace, Lhasa" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.131.271.1.html>.

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