About this object

Pecha or Tibetan manuscript shaped writing boards, eight in total with a wide leather band to hold them in place. The top and bottom boards are decorated with lacquer worked flowers, alternating large red rose bushes with yellow blossoms. Although described as children's writing tablets in the inventory, they are likely to be messenger boards, used by Tibetan government officials to send messages to one another, which could be easily wiped clear once a message had been conveyed or if there was a chance a message may be intercepted.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Skin Leather; Wood; 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
    1900 - 1945
  • Measurements
    52 mm x 385 mm x 74 mm; 2 1/16 in x 15 3/16 in x 2 15/16 in
  • Note
    Curator's note: No record in the List of Curios. This type of message system is described by Bell in his book, Tibet: Past and Present and as he showed an interest in the system he may have asked to acquire a set. Bell notes in his book, 'Another way of sending secret messages is to write them on wooden tablets. These are dispatched by a trustworthy servant, who can erase them immediately in the event of danger. The Tibetan tablets consist of five or six thin and narrow strips of wood bound together in an outer cover'.

    Written by Emma Martin
  • Related people
    Charles Alfred Bell (Collector)

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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