About this object

A Tibetan pecha or manuscript. A manuscript of the twenty-five tales of the talking corpse.
The manuscript has 109 folios, supported between two wooden covers, both painted red and decorated in elaborate and fine gold foliage between chevron borders. The inside of the upper cover is painted with three figures, the central figure is Tsongkhapa. The manuscript and covers are secured with a braided tape that has a brass clasp.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Writing
  • Culture
    Tibetan
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]
  • Date made
    20th Century early
  • Materials
    Textile Silk; Ink; Foil Gold; Brass; Pigment; Wood; Paper Plant; Fibre Textile Cotton; Varnish
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Not recorded
  • Date collected
    1916-09-30 after
  • Measurements
    75 mm x 480 mm x 100 mm; 2 15/16 in x 18 7/8 in x 3 15/16 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. No other copies noted.

    Curator's note: During a journey from Yatung to Gyantse, for an annual inspection tour, Achuk Tsering, Bell's Confidential Assistant, regales Bell with the 25 tales of the corpse. It makes such an impression on Bell that he recounts the story in his diary entry for that day, 30 September 1916. It is likely that Bell acquired this text in response to Achuk Tsering's telling of the tale. Bell acquired the text from Barmiok Lama; Bell pasted a slip onto the cover of the manuscript, noting the title of the pecha and also 'Barmiak 21' - either an inventory number for his own library or for the Barmiok library. Francoise Robin has noted that the text is written in a Lhasa-centric, colloquial style, which suggests that it could have been specifically written for Bell.

    Written by Emma Martin
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Publications

  • 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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