About this object

A block printed Tibetan manuscript or pecha. A copy of the History of Tibet: The Blue Annals by 'gos gzhon nu dpal [gZhon-nu-dpal (1392-1481)]. The manuscript has 573 folios and there are line drawings of Śantarakshita in the left and 'Go lotsāwa gZhon nu dPal in the right corner. The manuscript is wrapped in a gold coloured cotton cloth that has a red diamond applique motif at the end of the cloth, the manuscript is then supported by two deep red lacquer wooden book covers (which are too short for the manuscript), that are green on the inside and secured with a simple woven braid tie with a brass clasp.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]
  • Date made
    1792 - 1810
  • Materials
    Ink; Brass; Paper Plant; Wood; Fibre Textile Cotton; Lacquer
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Not recorded
  • Date collected
    Before 1919
  • Measurements
    120 mm x 605 mm x 110 mm; 4 3/4 in x 23 13/16 in x 4 5/16 in
  • Note
    Curator's note: The descriptions and page translations found in the inscriptions field have been provided by Dr Karma Phuntsho, during cataloguing for, 'The Tibetan-Mongolian Rare Books and Manuscripts (TMRBM) project', University of Cambridge. Other copies can be found in the Tibetan Book Resource Center, TBRC: W7494.
    There are two duplicate copies of the title page.
    Inventory card notes that this is a Kundeling edition. A white label is attached to the pecha cover, on one side is the title of the volume in uchen script, on the other, in Bell's handwriting, the name of the volume in English and, 'A20' and 'badly printed'.
    This is one of two copies that Bell owned of this text, both came from well known sources. Bell records in his book, Religion of Tibet, 'My friend, 'Great Minister' Shatra, the wise old statesman who died in 1919, gave me one of my copies of this valuable work. The print, however is often indistinct, and so the Dalai Lama gave me another copy from the same block, and it is on the whole clear. That it is not quite so distinct as the numerous other volumes that he sent me is due, as His Holiness explains in his letter, to the block being old'.

    Written by Emma Martin
  • Related people
    Charles Alfred Bell (Collector); Paljor Dorje Shatra (gifted by)

Where is this object from?

Explore related


  • 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.

Object view = Humanities
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