Karmapa's seal on top of a square case at Tsurphu

Karmapa's seal on top of a square case at Tsurphu

2001. (Film negative)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

1946 or 1950


Tolung Valley Region > Tsurphu

Accession number


Image Dimensions

43 X 54 mm

Square case with a clasp and the Zhwa-nag Karmapa's seal placed on top of it at Tsurphu monastery.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on front of negative album - '6' 'JOMOLHARI; [illegible]; TSURPHU; NAPSO DORING'; Notes on back of negative album: 'JOMOLHARI; CHARSADDA; PESHAWAR; ABBOTABAD [?sic]; KULU; TSURPHU SCROLL & MSS.; GARDEN'; Notes on spine: 'JOMOLHARI; NWFP; TSURPHU SCROLL' [KC 9/9/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index '6' - Folio. 88. 'do'. [KC 9/9/2006]

Other Information - Cultural Background

Other Information - Cultural Background: Hugh Richardson, "Memories of Tshurphu", in High Peaks, Pure Earth , 1998, London. Serindia, pp: 730-733.

Other Information - Location: Tsurphu lies about forty miles to the west of Lhasa on the Drowo lungchu river. "
Mtshur-phu (1946-50) [is] the principal seat of the Karma Bka'-brgyud school and residence of the Zhwa-nag ("Black Hat") incarnation. [It was founded] in 1187 ... Its many buildings are closely grouped in a high enclosed wall overlooking the "Gro-bo-lung-chu. The entrance on the west side is by way of a courtyard in which stands an inscribed pillar dating from the ninth century which has no obvious connection with the monastery." ( High Peaks, Pure Earth, H. E. Richardson, London, Serindia Publications, 1998, p. . 312) After passing through a narrow gate in the high wall surrounding the monastery one came to a wide paved courtyard with buildings on three sides, the west side being open. In the centre stood a stone pillar dating from the reign of Ralpachen and describing the foundation of a temple at Changbu in Tolung ... I was told later that the pillar was formerly opposite the main assembly hall, farther inside the monastery. ( ibid. 731) [KC 22/3/2006]

Other Information - History: Richardson discusses the pillar at Mtshur-phu in
A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions, H. E. Richardson, Hertford: Royal Asiatic Society (James G. Forlong Series No. XXIX), 1985, pp. 92-105

Other Information - Tsurphu (mtshur phu) is situated in Tolung (stod lung). The monastery is the seat of the Karmapa, head of the Karma Kargyu (kar ma bka' rgyud) school of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was founded by Karmapa Dusum Kyenpa (1100-1193). Richardson visited Tsurphu twice first in 1946 and a second time just before leaving Lhasa in 1950. [TS 16/2/2005]

Other Information - Related image: See 2001.59.6.78 for an image of a monk holding this seal and 2001. for another view of this object. [KC 24/3/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Karmapa's seal on top of a square case at Tsurphu" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_2001.>.

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