Shrine room in Tsarong's house, Lhasa

Shrine room in Tsarong's house, Lhasa

BMR. (Album Print black & white)

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Other Version of this Photo in Frederick Spencer Chapman collection

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Hugh E. Richardson

Date of Photo

September 2nd 1936?


Lhasa > Tsarong House

Accession number


Altar or shrine room in Tsarong's house. Decorated with carvings, thangka, Buddhist images and religious objects. 108 offering bowls containing water changed every day. Chapman writes that it was the finest room in the House. Golden images in cases stand along the wall at the back of the room

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Donated to the British Museum in 1986 by Hugh E. Richardson

Previous Catologue Number

C.9.10 [view film roll]

Related Collections

F. S. Chapman Collection in the Pitt Rivers Museum

This Image also appears in another collection


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The back of the print is covered with crop and reproduction instructions. The reference 'C-9-10' has been written on the back of the print in pencil [MS 28/03/2006]

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]: 'Tsarong’s sitting room - semi-close altars etc.'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 4: ‘20/2 - Tsarong’s private chapel in his house’ [MS 28/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.9' comprise a group of negatives containing images of Tsarong’s family and his house, a Tibetan stove, preparing paint for Potala and camels. The date is not certain, but it seems most likely that these images of Tsarong and his family were taken on the occasion of the first formal visit to his house on September 2nd 1936 [MS 28/03/2006]

Other Information - Description: "We had tea in the private chapel, which is the largest and finest room of the house. Hinged casement windows, with a long window-seat below, take up one wall. Opposite are several half-life-sized golden images in ornate glass cases. The images wear golden diadems studded with precious gems, and round their necks are amber necklaces with stones as large as tangerines. On an altar in front are displayed holy-water vessels, cloisonne lions, a pair of priceless porcelain vases in a glass case, several silver teapots and jugs, and a gold reliquary. At the end of the altar is an ormolu clock and a large terrestrial globe" ['Lhasa: The Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto & Windus, 1938, p. 104] [MS 28/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Shrine room in Tsarong's house, Lhasa" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <>.

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