Painting seen in Lhalu Mansion

Painting seen in Lhalu Mansion

1998.285.246.1 (Glass negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


(Lantern Slide)

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

March 14th 1921?


Lhasa > Lhalu House

Accession number


Image Dimensions

120 x 163 mm

Photograph of Chang Shambala prophecy painting in Lhalu mansion outside Lhasa. Carving also visible in top left corner of image.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Negative Half Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.

Copy difference



Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Previous Catologue Number

See H.213

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXXVI. [Subject of Chapter] Oracles [Subject of Illustration] H. 213 (l) The Chang Shambala prophecy. Incarnations of Buddha defeating the Muhammedan world conquerors. A picture in Lhalu house. [Remarks] L.202"

Other Information - Description: Bell visited the Lhalu mansion on Monday 14th March 1921. He describes the experience at some length in his diary for that day. For the full entry, see 1998.285.112 and 1998.285.114: 'We visited Lhalu mansion. The two Dukes (Kung), father and son, have died recently and none of the family are living in it. It is given over to servants, lacks cleanliness and has a general air of desolation. The mother and wife of the elder Duke - the younger died when sixteen years old, - live elsewhere in Lhasa. They cannot stand living in Lhasa after their bereavements, and even contemplate making over all the property to the Dalai Lama. // The house was largely rebuilt a few years ago and to this fact Palhese attributes the family misfortunes. He recalls the Tibetan saying, "If a house is rebuilt, the pillar falls," a saying which betokens the death of a member of the family. // ... One of the main rooms we see has whitewashed walls and photographs, mostly of Chinese worth[ies?] hung very high on the walls, which are otherwise perfectly bare. A particularly cheerless room, and we can think no better of it, even when we are gravely informed that it is the 'English Room' being furnished in the English style. I wonder from what desolate Indian bungalow the idea can have been taken. // ... In one of the chapels the paintings (tang-ka) are on very fine Chinese silk. In the rooms, nearly all of them, are valuable old pieces of china and cloisonne, three or four pieces in each room. Non-religious paintings ar on the walls of many rooms, these are after the Chinese style. The religious paintings (tang-ka) are of course all after the Tibetan style. // ... Lhalu is regarded as one of the beauties of Lhasa, and so it is. But at present it is unhappy, desolate" [pp.34-38]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Bell does not distinguish between 1998.285.245 and 1998.285.246 in his list of illustrations and both may be referenced by the caption for H.213 [MS 8/6/2004]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Painting seen in Lhalu Mansion" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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