Magistrates of Sho in courtroom

Magistrates of Sho in courtroom

1998.286.303 (Glass negative)

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Key Information


Sir Charles Bell


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

July 26th 1921


Lhasa > Sho > Lekung

Accession number


Image Dimensions

78 x 103

The three magistrates of Shö with clerks on left in their Court Room

Further Information



Photographic Process

Negative Quarter Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford

Copy difference

Notches on right side


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections


'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] VII. [Subject of Chapter] The Regent and Central Government [Subject of Illustration] Q34. (k) The three magistrates of Shö with clerks on left in their Court Room (pocket Book 26.7.21, p. 12). [Where placed - book page] I, 205. [Remarks] L.57"

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'Tibet Past & Present', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924, facing p.205:"Police Court below Potala. The three magistrates, in red overcoats and yellow Tam O'Shanter caps, with their clerks. Court records fastened to walls and pillars"

Other Information - Description: Bell's Diary entry for 26th July 1921: "I visited the Sho Le-Kung today (photo quarter plate). The courtroom resembled in the main that of the Mi-pon. There are three magistrates, known as the Sho-pa. Usually two are trung-khar and one a tse-trung, but at [?] all three are trung-khor. This courtroom, the one which I photographed, is up stairs. Down below in another place close to, is a verandah in which those accused of the more heinous offences are tried. Here are kept the whips and finger-crushing implements of the same kind as those used by the Mi-pons. Nearby is the prison with two separate rooms, both of which one sees from above. One, for those convicted of lighter offences, was photoed by me some months ago. it gets plenty of light and air from above. The other for heinous offenders, is dark, but gets much more light and air than the prison administered by the Mi-pons. Looking down through the grating of the Sho prison for heinous offenders, I could see though dimly, the prisoners inside" [Vol XI, pp. 58-59]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Magistrates of Sho in courtroom" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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