Charles Bell Tibetan collection

Charles Bell Tibetan collection

The Charles Bell Tibet collection of nearly 200 objects and photo albums is an important archive of the Anglo-Tibetan encounter of the early 20th century.


This is part of the Tibet collection.

Charles Bell was the Political Officer for Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet from 1908 -1918 and having received an invitation from the thirteenth Dalai Lama he undertook a special mission to Lhasa in 1920-21; his first and only visit to the capital of Tibet.

The collection of Charles Bell is a record of  his time in the Himalayas. It provides us with an insight both into Bell's work for the British India government and his personal and professional friendships with many Sikkimese, Bhutanese and Tibetan men, including Palhese, Barmiok Lama and the thirteenth Dalai Lama himself.

The collection came to World Museum after a letter arrived at Liverpool Museum (now World Museum) from the Director of Newbury Museum, in September 1949, asking if we would like to take in a, 'large collection of very fine Tibetan curios once belonging to the late Sir Charles Bell'.

The arrival of the Charles Bell collection at Liverpool Museum was to spark a major interest in collecting Tibet, which still continues today.

Explore a wide range of objects including those used in religion, writing and the home, from Buddhist statues to photo albums and from swords to beer jugs.