About this object

A silver lidded bowl, elaborate and deeply carved all over with foliage designs. Both on the base and on the lid, can be found eight medallions with the Eight Auspicious Symbols finished in gilt. The lid has a raised lip edged in stylised lotus leaves in gilt and a lotus flower finial set with a turquoise. There are a further five medallions with auspicious Buddhist symbols including a bell and dorje, a mirror and a conch, these are also finished in gilt.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Container; Smoking Narcotics
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Southern Asia: Bhutan
  • Date made
    1900 about
  • Materials
    Silver; Gold; Turquoise
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Francis Younghusband
  • Collector
    Francis Edward Younghusband
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    75 mm x 160 mm; 2 15/16 in x 6 5/16 in
  • Note
    Curator's note: Pasted on the base of the interior is a paper label, which reads, 'presented by the Chief of Bhutan to Sir Francis Younghusband 1904'. Likely given by Ugyen Wangchuk who had been brought into to Tibet by the British to try and negotiate with the Tibetans. Bhutanese people betel nut, betel leaf and lime to make a betel quid (doma) as an aid to digestion. The ingredients for the doma would have been carried in a box like this by wealthy members of society. Written by Emma Martin
  • Related people
    Ugyen Wangchuk ( Previous owner); Francis Edward Younghusband ( Collector)

Explore related


  • 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.


Previous owners

  • Ugyen Wangchuk

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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