Portrait of the 13th Dalai Lama

Description: A small framed portrait of the Dalai Lama, seated formally in monastic robes on a raised dais. At either side of the dais are huge ceramic vases filled with flowers. The photograph is framed in a red lacquer frame with gilt repeating swastika motif. There is an inscription from Tsarong Shapé (using his given name, before he received the Shapé title) saying that he is presenting Bell with this image on the 8th day of the 6th month of the Iron Dog year (mid August 1910).

Place collected: Asia: Southern Asia: India: West Bengal: Darjeeling
Date collected: 1910
Measurements: Overall: 185 mm x 250 mm x 19 mm; 7 5/16 in x 9 13/16 in x 3/4 in
Type: Photography

Note: Curator's note: It was long assumed that the Dalai Lama had given Charles Bell this framed photograph while in exile in British India. Mr Tashi Tsering, Director Amnye Machen Institute, Dharamsala, India, has since identified this as a gift from Tsarong. Tsarong, who was known as 'Chensal' Namgang at the time of the gift, was a pro-British Tibetan official who would become Chief Commander of the Tibetan army and a highly influential official. Written by Emma Martin
Accession no: 50.31.131
Other number(s): 50.31.146 [previous number]

Explore all objects related to...