Wife of a lay official in Lhasa dress

Wife of a lay official in Lhasa dress

1998.285.134 (Glass negative)

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo




Accession number


Image Dimensions

120 x 163 mm

The wife of a lay official. She wears a headdress made mostly of pearls and a few large corals, Lhasa style turquoise earrings, a necklace of corals and pearls, and a gold charm box set with turquoises, sapphires, diamonds and rubies.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Negative Half Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.

Copy difference

Copy Neg


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number



'The People of Tibet', Sir Charles Bell, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928 [view list of illustrations]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXI. [Subject of Chapter] The Women. [Subject of Illustration] H.117 (r) Wife o flay official, with pearl head-dress consisting mostly of pearls and a few corals, Lhasa style, turquoise earrings, necklace of corals and pearls, charm box (kau) of gold set with turquoises, sapphires and rubies"

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'The People of Tibet', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928, facing p.150: 'Wife of Lhasa official in gala attire/ The head-dress is mainly of pearls with a few large corals; the earrings of turquoises. The charm-box on the chest is of gold, set with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and turquoises'. [PG 27/4/2004]

Other Information - Dress: This is a portrait of an aristocratic woman of Lhasa wearing typical Central Tibetan coral and pearl headdress, turquoise ear-rings, a 'gau' (amulet box) at her neck, and the married woman's striped apron. The pose and setting, with the European furniture and textiles of a wealthy Lhasa family is carefully arranged in the style of Indian studio photography. (CH 27/3/2000)

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Wife of a lay official in Lhasa dress" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.285.134.html>.

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