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 with 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 silk brocade, which has reinforced corners in red diamonds and is back in sky blue cotton, this is supported between a pair of wooden book covers painted red on the out side, with gold decoration, the symbol of the dharma wheel in the centre, and blue on the inside, this is secured with a cotton tie that has a brass clasp. There is also a cloth label.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]
  • Date made
    1792 - 1810
  • Materials
    Textile Silk; Ink; Brass; Gold; Paper Plant; Wood; Fibre Yarn Cotton; 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
    1910 - 1933
  • Measurements
    130 mm x 600 mm x 115 mm; 5 1/8 in x 23 5/8 in x 4 1/2 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.

    This volume is split into fourteen sections only information for the first section is included in the inscription field. There are two duplicate copies of the title page.

    Note on inventory card reads, 'Kun Bde Gling edition translated by Roenich colophon on last page'. Hand-written note by Bell on the cloth label reads, 'A20', along with title of pecha in uchen script. An additional inventory card records the notes of Hugh Richardson, dated January 1964, it reads, 'Your copy is as good a one as I have seen, carefully done on good paper. Even though new blocks were carved after 1792, some parts are indistinct. The Lama Ye-Shes Blo brang Bstan pai Mgo po (Rta tshag Rimpoche of Kum Bde Gling) was Regent of Tibet from 1789 on and off until 1810. The inscription on the book label seems misleading. The description Par Rnying should refer to the original edition damaged in Nepal-Tibet War, 1792'.

    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
    13th Dalai Lama (gifted by); 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
No media found
Page load time: 109 ms