About this object

One of a pair of large manuscript covers. The central panel is carved in deep relief and gilded. The panel shows a wish fulfilling vase draped with an offering scarf. Scrolls issue from the mouth of the vase which create three rows of circular scrolls filled with foliage on either side of the vase. The outer border is finished with lotus petals.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Gyantse: Naini
  • Date made
    17th Century
  • Materials
    Gilt Metal; Wood
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
    John Claude White
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Gyantse: Naini
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    252 mm x 700 mm x 28 mm; 9 15/16 in x 27 9/16 in x 1 1/8 in
  • Note
    Curator's note:
    The taking and destruction of Naini Monastery is described by Henry Newman, who was the Reuter's correspondent during the Younghusband Expedition, in Edmund Chandler's book, 'The Unveiling of Lhasa'.
    On the succeeding day a large convoy and reinforcements under Major Peterson, 32nd Pioneers, came safely through. The additional troops included a section of No. 7 (British) Mountain Battery, under Captain Easton; one and a half companies of Sappers and Miners, under Captain Shepherd and Lieutenant Garstin; and another company of the 32nd Pioneers. Major Peterson reported that his convoy had come under a heavy fire from the village and monastery of Naini. This monastery lies about seven miles from Gyantse in an opening of the valley just before the road turns into Gyantse Plain. It holds about 5,000 monks. When the column first passed by it, the monks were extremely friendly, bringing out presents of butter and eggs, and readily selling flour and meat. The monastery is surrounded by a wall thirty feet high, and at least ten feet thick. The buildings inside are also solidly built of stone. Altogether the position was a very difficult one to tackle, but Colonel Brander, following his usual policy, decided that the enemy must be turned out of it at all costs. Accordingly, on the 24th a column, which included Captain Easton's two guns, marched out to Naini. But the monastery and the group of buildings outside it were found absolutely deserted. The walls were far too heavy and strong to be destroyed by a small force, which had to return before nightfall, but Captain Shepherd blew up the four towers at the corners and a portion of the hall in which the Buddhas were enthroned.
  • Related people

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  • Mission to Lhasa 1903-1904

    Start date: 1903
    End date: 1903
    Description: The British Mission to Tibet during 1903 and 1904 was an invasion of southern Tibet by British Indian forces on the pretence of negotiating trade relations between Tibet and British India. However, this was instigated primarily in the hope of preventing the Russian Empire from interfering in Tibetan affairs and thus gaining a base in one of the buffer states surrounding British India. The expedition was led by Colonel (later Sir) Francis Younghusband. It had a damaging effect on the British reputation, many Tibetans were killed and monasteries and houses were looted and/or destroyed along the way. The 13th Dalai Lama feld Lhasa before the arrival of the expedition and Younghusband negotiated, a soon to be repelled, convention with the Tibetan government or Kashag in Lhasa that was signed in the Potala on 7 Septmber 1904.


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