1998.131.494.1 (Print black & white)
Frederick Spencer Chapman
February 13th 1937
Lhasa > Surkhang House
174 x 116
Print gelatin silver
Mrs Faith Spencer Chapman
British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37
Frederick Spencer Chapman
5.12 [view film roll]
Notes on print/mount - 'Hugh Richardson but from" has been written on the back of the print in pencil. A sticker with the number '3' hand written in red ink has been stuck close to the top right hand corner [MS 30/03/2006]
Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Surkang. Odd dress full fitting' [MS 30/03/2006]
Exhibition - This image appeared in the 2003 Temporary Exhibition at the Pitt Rivers "Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947".
Research publication - Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya (eds.), 'Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947', Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2003, p. 14. Wrongly identified as Wangchen Geleg.
Other Information - Surkhang Lhawang Tobgyal (1915-1970), Wangchen Geleg's younger brother, "attended the English school at Gyantse (for one year only) and entered the [government service] in 1931. In 1934 he became assistant to the Grva bshi hydroelectric station. In 1942 he was appointed mda'-dpon and in 1943 was posted to the Grva bshi regiment to Nag-chu-kha. ... In 1948 he was a member of the Tibetan tade mission to China, Europe and America led by Sha-sgab-pa. He left Tibet in 1959 and died at Seattle in 1970." Luciano Petech, Aristocracy and Government in Tibet 1728-1959 , 1973, Serie Orientale Roma, XLV, ISMEO, p.152. [KC 28/10/2006]
Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with '5' comprise a group of negatives mainly containing images of Kyibu and family and Surkhang and family. [MS 30/03/2006]
Other Information - Photographer: Images in this group were probably taken by Hugh Richardson. Not only is this suggested on the back of the print, but circumstantial evidence also suggests this. This kind of ceremonial dress would be worn on the 2nd day of the New Year, which in 1937 fell on February 13th. Chapman was the only member of the mission who was allowed to go to the Potala on that day, where he took photographs and cine film of officials on horseback and of the 'Pole Trick' outside the Potala. Richardson, however, had to visit about eight lesser officials with New Year greetings, some of whom would be wearing special dress prior to or after going to the Potala. As this image seems to have been taken in Surkhang Se's house, given that it is accompanied by photographs of his family, it seems likely that this image was taken by Richardson whilst making a New Year visit [MS 30/03/2006]
For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Lhawang Tobgyal Surkhang in gyaluche dress" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.131.494.1.html>.
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