Description: A beautifully painted wooden domestic altar. The base unit hold eight panels painted with large lotus, sprouting from rocks painted in bands of red, blues and greens bordered with gold, the background being a bright yellow. The shelving unit is smaller in width and depth than the base and is split into eight niches. The trefoil shaped painted wooden inlays above each niche create a shrine like space for individual statues or objects to sit. The canopy is intricately carved with scallops and painted with several lotus flowers, this is supported on a variety of Tibetan architectural features including false exposed joists painted in red and green.
Place collected: Asia: Southern Asia: India: West Bengal: Darjeeling
Date collected: 1910-06-22
Measurements: not recorded
Note: List of Curios No 69a:
A chö-sam (mchod sams) (altar) has been made for above (jade figure) by the chief carpenter (um-dze) of the Dalai Lama in Darjeeling and painted by a Tibetan painter living in Jore Bungalow. This is also numbered 69.
Curator's comment: Bell displayed a group of jade figures given to him by the Dalai Lama in the eight niches, several of these are in private collections.
Written by Emma Martin
N1974.0468 [Photography Number];
CB39 [Collector Number]