Bo Tsering and Phunkhang Yabshi Kung

Bo Tsering and Phunkhang Yabshi Kung

2001. (Film negative)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

June-July 1939

Named Person

Bo Tsering , Phunkhang Yabshi Kung


Lhasa > Dekyi Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

55 x 57 mm

Bo Tsering (S.A.S) and Phunkhang Tashi Dorje (right) dressed in silk robes at a reception.

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 negative album - '7' 'PEOPLE'

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index - Folio 18. 'Phunkang. Gyatso'.

Clare Harris 2003: Two Tibetans in a garden – the man on the right is Yabshi Phünkang Kung (known as “The Duke”)
This title goes to the father or brother of the reigning Dalai Lama. As the title is hereditary there are usually a number of Kungs living at the same time, theoretically one for each Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama’s family is often poor and so the title of Kung carries with it considerable estates. The Kung used to be the first layman of the land but the late Dalai Lama (13th) made the office of Prime minister even more exalted. Spencer Chapman writes that “The Duke, who was dressed in the same way as the Shap-pes, is a tall lean man with such bad sight that he has to hold everything up to his eyes before he can see it. He gives the impression of being completely absent-minded and unpractical in a very aristocratic and charming way” (1938: 79) Later on he became a member of the Kashag (the Tibetan cabinet).

Other Information - Biography: 'The two men are Bo Tsering, a Sikkimese doctor and Phunkhang.' [TT in conversation with KC] [KC 9/6/2006]

Other Information - Biography: See Luciano Petech, Aristocracy and Government in Tibet 1728-1959 , Serie Orientale Roma XLV, Roma: Is. M.E.O, 1973 p. 27 for a summary of Phunkhang Tashi Dorje's (b. 1888) main achievements. He was appointed a member of the council of ministers ( bka' blon ) in 1938 until his dismissal in 1946. He was a staunch supporter of the Reting Regent. He suffered from very bad eyesight. [KC 24/6/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: This image relates to a group of 15 contact prints which all have the same batch development number, 516 printed in black ink upon them. In this group of images there is one picture with Capt. A. H. O O’Malley, who had taken up the post of Medical Officer in Gyantse in July 1938 [see McKay 1997 p.236] and who visited Lhasa in early June 1939. Also, some of the images are from a ceremony at Darpoling Monastery on the 15th Day of the 5th Month, which Richardson states he saw only once and which correlate with the year 1939. Many of the images were taken in and around Lhalu mansion [MS 19/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Bo Tsering and Phunkhang Yabshi Kung" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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