The Thirteenth Dalai Lama's state palanquin

The Thirteenth Dalai Lama's state palanquin

1998.285.93 (Glass negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Rabden Lepcha


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

March 7th 1921?


Lhasa >

Accession number


Image Dimensions

120 x 163 mm

The Thirteenth Dalai Lama's state palanquin or pep-chang being carried in the annual procession from the Potala to the Norbu Lingka. Bearers and attendants surround the palanquin. It is not clear whether the Dalai Lama is inside the palanquin in this photograph, but the activities of the photographer do not seem to have met the approval of the bearers in this case, judging from their disapproving facial expressions

Further Information



Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Negative Half Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number



'Tibet Past & Present', Sir Charles Bell, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1924 [view list of illustrations]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] V. [Subject of Chapter] Dalai Lama. [Subject of illustration] H.80 (y) ditto [ref.: 1998.285.92 - Dalai Lama's State Palanquin on the march], nearer view. [Where placed - book page] I,139"

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'Tibet Past & Present', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924, facing p.139:"The Dalai Lama's Palanquin"

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Bell comments in his diary for 7th March 1921 that an attempt was made to photograph the Dalai Lama, in his palanquin: 'This morning at about 7 am we saw the Dalai Lama's Chip-gyu Chem-no from the Potala to Norbu Lingka, the return journey. At the Dalai Lama's request, I had some photos taken - by Rabden - but the early morning light was too weak to produce good results ... The procession [from Potala to Norbu Linka] was as before. This time we saw it from close quarters close to the Dekyi Linka. It was noticeable that the Dalai Lama could not be seen inside his sedan chair. It is no doubt a wise policy on his part to prevent himself from being seen too easily by the multitudes' [p.30-31] [MS 28/5/2004]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "The Thirteenth Dalai Lama's state palanquin " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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