Altar in Tibetan home

Altar in Tibetan home

1998.131.544.2 (Print black & white)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


(Contact Print)

[view record]




With tracing paper

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman? Major Finch?


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

January - February 1937?



Accession number


Image Dimensions

113 x 170

Altar in a poorer Tibetan household decorated for New Year. Thangka paintings on the wall and a bronze figure of Padmasambhava adorned with ceremonial scarves, or khatak. Left, box of tsampa flour

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Mrs Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

F.15 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number



'Lhasa Mission 1936, Diary of Events', P. Neame, H. Richardson, F. S. Chapman, Government of India Political Department [Note: photographs for October 18th - November 4th 1936 are not included as their relationship to text is not detailed; see Mission Diary text for details of images] [view list of illustrations]

Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The back of the print is covered in crop marks and reproduction instructions. The reference ''OF 15' has been written on the back of the print in pencil. A thin piece of paper has been stuck across the top back edge of the image and folded over the front. Usually this would be used to transfer crop and reproduction instructions between back and front of the image but it has not been used in this case [MS 02/04/2006]

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]: '1/2 New Year altar'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 3: ‘13/2 - Offering on an altar in a wayside Tibetan house. Notice box of tsamba with stalks of barley and intricate devices made of butter’ [MS 02/04/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: Although the caption in this image suggests that it should have been taken in February 1937, the sequence of images prefixed with 'F' is quite unusual and in some respects seem to relate to the time at which Major Finch arrived from Gyantse to stay in Lhasa, from mid-December to January 2nd. This image may have been taken on the return journey to Gyantse [MS 02/04/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'F' comprise a group of negatives containing images of Gyantse, Lhasa band, officials receiving and sending off the mission, Chaksam ferry and journey to Lhasa [MS 02/04/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Altar in Tibetan home" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.

© The Pitt Rivers Museum