Stone lions, Chinese Amban's former residence

Stone lions, Chinese Amban's former residence

1998.131.264 (Film negative)

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Raw Image


Photographer's handlist

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

October 14th - 17th 1936?


Lhasa > Trapshi

Accession number


Image Dimensions

85 x 115 mm

Two stone lions at the entrance to the Chinese special representative or Amban's compound. Good view of stonework walls. Potala in background. Tree on left of image. The wall on the left hand side has been knocked down. Possibly a more elaborate entrance in the centre background. The Chinese Amban resided here until 1912 when he was expelled from Tibet along with the occupying forces in Lhasa

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

C.8.18 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

In Negative - '18' has been scratched into the negative in the bottom right hand corner [MS 17/2/2005]

Technical Information - This image was taken with a quarter plate Zeiss Nixe film or film pack camera as the negative is quarter-plate sized. See Chapman
Lhasa The Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus, 1938] for a description of the still and cine cameras that Chapman used as Mission photographer [MS 25/2/2005]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Chinese place and lions' [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.8' comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Potala and Lhasa, officials coming through Pargo Kaling, the Turquoise Bridge, Tsarong, Trimon, views from and of Sera, a woman washing clothes, a shepherd with a sling and football teams. They seem to have been taken October 13th - 20th 1936 [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Description: Chapman briefly describes the location of the former compound of the Chinese Amban in his publication Lhasa the Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus, 1938; reprint, London: Readers Union Ltd., 1940]. He wrote: "To the south is a ruined gateway and part of the old city wall. Along the eastern side of this square in former times was the residence of the Chinese Amban with its considerable barracks, theatre, restaurant, and gardens. The place is completely ruined, but two Chinese lions of granite still stand in front of the ruined wall, eloquent of their vanished power" [1940, p.151] [MS 26/3/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Stone lions, Chinese Amban's former residence" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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