Party hosted by Lhalu Lhacham

Party hosted by Lhalu Lhacham

2001. (Film negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

1938 - 1939

Named Person

O'Malley, Lhalu Lhacham, Reginald Fox, Pemba Tsering


Lhasa >

Accession number


Image Dimensions

55 x 57 mm

Party at Lhalu Lhacham's beneath an appliquéd tent. Standing in the centre with glasses raised are Dr. O'Malley and Lhalu Lhacham, herself. Seated on the left are Rai Sahib Pemba Tsering, who worked for the British Mission and Reginald Fox (wearing a Homburg hat) and seated on the right is a unknown Tibetan official. Either side of the centre pole of the tent are two low tables upon one of which there is a tray and a jug containing the liquid (most probably chang barley beer) which O'Malley and Lhalu Lhacham are drinking. In the foreground there is a light coloured Homburg hat resting on the carpeted seating most probably belonging to the photographer of this image, Hugh Richardson.

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 26. 'Lhalu Lhacham. O'Malley etc.'

Clare harris 2003: Lhacham Lhalu, was one of the “first ladies” of Tibet as her father and late husband had both been Dukes, a title only awarded to those related to a Dalai Lama. The family home, the Lhalu mansion on the outskirts of Lhasa, was the headquarters of the Younghusband Expedition to Lhasa in 1904. The house had its own private monastery in which the 13th Dalai Lama would often meditate. By the 1930s she was a popular figure in the social world of Lhasa and one of the few Tibetan women to host parties for the British. Spencer Chapman (1938:319) noted that “ The lady of Lhalu was of middle age and extremely stout. She wore the most wonderful jewellery, and was more made-up than any Tibetan woman I had seen”. “Our hostess was wonderfully good company. … The lunch was excellent but our indefatigable hostess made us eat far more than we wanted, and absolutely forced us to drink quantities of excellent but potent chang.” (Tibetan beer)

Other Information - Biography: Capt. A.H.O. O'Malley took up post as the Medical Officer Gyantse in July 1938 and kept it until July 1939. ( Tibet and the British Raj, London Studies on South Asia, no. 14, London, Curzon Press, 1997, p. 236.

Other Information - People

Other Information - People: Alex McKay writes about Reginald Fox in Tibet and the British Raj , 1997, Richmond: Curzon Press, p. 203 - 4, "Reginald Fox served as Lhasa mission Radio Officer from March 1947 until 1950 and similarly died soon after retiring. While he and his Tibetan wife were frequently mentioned by travellers, there is also no trace of him in surviving official records." [KC 13/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Party hosted by Lhalu Lhacham" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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