Potala clock and images

Potala clock and images

1998.131.321 (Film negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


Photographer's handlist

[view record]

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

September 6th 1936


Lhasa > Potala > Clock

Accession number


Image Dimensions

85 x 116 mm

Inside the Potala Palace. A clock on the left, an image of Padmasambhava, probably made of gilt bronze, on the right, with a mural of Buddhist deities behind

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.14.6 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

In Negative - The number '6' has been scratched into the negative in the bottom right hand corner. This relates to the group of images referred to by Chapman as 'C.14' in his handlist of images taken whilst on the Mission to Lhasa in 1936-7. This small group of negatives (15 in all) were all used to take photographs of the interior of the Potala Palace [MS 11/4/2005]

Technical Information - This image was probably 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]: 'Potala clock and a god (rather spoilt)' [MS 18/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.14 comprise a group of negatives containing images of the 13th Dalai Lama’s tomb and views around the Potala. They were all taken on the Mission party's first official visit to the Potala on September 6th 1936 [MS 18/03/2006]

Other Information - Historical Background: Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) is believed to have come from Swat. Was invited to Tibet during the reign of Srong-tsen Gampo (8th c.) to diffuse the friction between the earlier Bon religion and Buddhism. Founded the first Tibetan Monastery at Samye. [Marina de Alarcón ZF 1995.1]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Potala clock and images " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.131.321.html>.

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