About this object

A pair of identical miniature teapots, decorated with cloisonné, in the Tibetan style. The main body divided into segments of alternating black and turquoise background, then covered with pink, pale blue, yellow and red five-petalled flowers in a random pattern. The handle and spout in a royal blue ground with red spots, most of which have disappeared. The cloisonné is outlined with a rope-design wire. The finial of the lid is fashioned into the shape of a large open lotus.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Household Objects
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Lhasa
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Enamel; Brass
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Lhasa
  • Date collected
    16th October 1921
  • Measurements
    75 mm x 97 mm x 68 mm; 2 15/16 in x 3 13/16 in x 2 11/16 in
  • Note
    List of Curios No A98:
    (8) Two small tea-pot of Tibetan cloisonné. When giving me the above presents [including this one], the Dalai Lama said to me "I do not wish to give you a great number of things which would be useless to you, but rather to give you a few things which are really good."

    Curator's Note: Given to Bell by the 13th Dalai Lama, on his leaving Lhasa on 16th October, 1921.

    Written by Emma Martin
  • Related people
    13th Dalai Lama (gifted by); Charles Alfred Bell (Collector)

Where is this object from?

Explore related


  • List of Curios

    Bell, Charles Alfred

    Author: Bell, Charles Alfred
    Description: A typed object catalogue from Bell's handwritten notes on a wide variety of objects from his personal collection. This information often contains, the date he obtained an object, its provenance (including where and who he acquired from) and the person responsible for giving him the information. The process of writing the inventory began in December 1912 and continued until the late 1930s.

  • Tibet: Catalogue of Exhibits

    Tankard, Elaine

    Author: Tankard, Elaine
    Publisher: Liverpool Public Museums
    Date: 1953-03
    Description: Introductory essay and catalogue entries, in themes, for the 1953 exhibition; 'Tibet', held at the Walker Art Gallery.


  • Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920 - 1921

    Start date: 1920-11-17
    End date: 1920-11-17
    Description: Having retired from the Indian Civil Service in 1918, due to health problems, Bell was recalled to service in 1920. His decision to return rested upon the decision to send him to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, a place that he had never been granted permission to visit, but which the 13th Dalai Lama had repeatedlyinvited him to. While waiting in Gyantse Bell received the call that he could proceed to Lhasa and so during November 1920, Bell, the chief medical officer Mr Dyer (who was later replaced by Col. Kennedy) and a large entourage of staff and advisors, including Palhese, Rabten Lepcha (Bell's 'photo orderly') and his Confidential Clerk, Achuk Tsering (who would die of influenza only days after reaching Lhasa) travelled to Lhasa, arriving on 17th November 1921. Bell stayed in Lhasa for 11 months, witnessing many festivals and political disputes. His own life appears to have been in danger during the Butter Sculpture Festival, due to the 13th Dalai Lama's willingness to listen to Bell's position on taxes and developing the army, something deeply opposed by factions of the ultra conservative monastic community. This mission was to be the highlight of Bell's career and has been described as the pinacle of Anglo-Tibetan relations in the 20th century.

Object view = Humanities
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