Spectators watching play at Norbu Lingka

Spectators watching play at Norbu Lingka

1998.286.143.1 (Glass negative)

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Raw Image


(Lantern Slide)

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Key Information


Willoughby Patrick Rosemeyer


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

August 1922?


Lhasa > Norbu Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

82 x 107 mm

Spectators watching Ache Lhamo at Norbu Lingka. The stage in middle distance covered with a textile awning; tent shelters of officials seen at the far end of the stage; the 13th Dalai Lama's bodyguard can be seen sitting on the roof on the right; crowd fills the foreground; women wearing Lhasa region head dresses

Further Information



Photographic Process

Negative Quarter Plate , Copy Negative

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St. Antony's College, Oxford

Copy difference

Copy Neg Lantern


Sir Charles Bell

Photo also owned by

Sir Charles Bell; Royal Central Asiatic Society

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXVII. [Subject of Chapter] Amusements [Subject of Illustration] Q.271-132 (da) Spectators watching play at Norpu Lingka. [Remarks] Rosemeyer's. L.149"

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Bell has two entries for Q.271-132 in his List of Illustrations, only one of which he attributes to Rosemeyer. However this seems very likely to be a Rosemeyer picture because of the content and format [MS 16/8/2004]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: A date of 1922 has been given to this image because this is the first date that one can determine that Rosemeyer went to Lhasa officially. This journey was made in order to complete the extension of the telegraph line from Gyantse to the capital. According to the Assistant Engineer W. H. King, Rosemeyer and the team were allowed to wander freely around the Potala and the Norbu Lingka in order to connect the telegraph lines there: "Rosemeyer was given permission to photograph anything he liked except one image in the Cathedral" [King, W. H. The Telegraph to Lhasa in 'The Geographical Journal', Vol. LXIII No. 6, June 1924: 529] Although Rosemeyer visited Lhasa on numerous occasions after 1922, it seems that Bell probably acquired this picture from him then, prior to Bell's return to the UK for a number of years, during which time he worked on his manuscripts [MS 29/7/2004]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Spectators watching play at Norbu Lingka" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.286.143.1.html>.

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