Tsarong family group outside Tsarong's house

Tsarong family group outside Tsarong's house

1998.157.85 (Transparency colour)

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Reflective scan

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

February 13th 1937

Named Person

George Tsarong, Ngodup Wangmo, Tsarong Dzasa, Kate Tsarong, Jigme Taring


Lhasa > Tsarong House

Accession number


Image Dimensions

64 X 101

Dundul Namgyal Tsarong ('George'), Ngodup Wangmo, Tsarong Dzasa, Kunsang Lhakyi Tsarong?('Kate'), Tsarong and Jigme Taring standing on the steps of Tsarong's house

Further Information

Photographic Process

Transparency Colour

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

In Negative - Apparently previously attached to the transparency (but now attached to the negative holder) was a piece of plastic with the following scratched into it: "REVERSE + FLIP n.63 p110 132%" [MS 07/04/2006]

Biographical Information - Dasang Damdul Tsarong was a favourite of the 13th Dalai Lama, a military man and later a shappe (cabinet minister in the Tibetan government) until he was removed from office as a result of his modernising policies. He was a great friend of the British Mission frequently inviting them to his house and accompanying them on their various visits around Lhasa. He was considered by the mission to be a great character, as Gould recalled “Once, after a long and festive party at the De Kyi Lingka, he fell asleep in my arms murmuring, “Great minister, I love you, I love you”. At breakfast next morning he had his usual bright eye and was quite unperturbed. He spoke a little English. To him it seemed strange that anybody in India should not welcome British rule”. (1957:236) He had four wives (Including Rigzin Choden, Pema Dolkar, Rinchen Dolma (later Mary Taring) and Tseten Dolkar) and ten children. Although he was in India in 1956 he insisted on going back to Tibet to help the Dalai Lama to escape into exile. He was captured by the Chinese and in 1959 died mysteriously the night before what was due to be his public humiliation. [CH 2003]

Other Information - Description: "The door [of Tsarong's house] is ornamented in the best Tibetan style, but in front of it are a dozen granite steps covered with pots of flowering plants" ['Lhasa: The Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto & Windus, 1938, p. 104] [MS 28/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: This image is related to groups of images prefixed with 'A' and 'B' in Chapman's handlist. Images prefixed with 'A' comprise a group of negatives containing images of officials and the Regent riding in ceremonial dress up to the Potala, all apparently taken on February 13th 1937. On this day Tsarong took Chapman unofficially to the Potala so that he could take photographs of the New Year ceremonies (no other Mission members accompanied because an official invitation had not been extended to them). This photograph, therefore, was probably taken at the end of the day, when Tsarong returned home with Chapman. Those prefixed with 'B' include images of Tsarong's 'At Home' ceremony held on the 14th February, but this image seems to have been taken prior to that event [MS 28/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Tsarong family group outside Tsarong's house" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.157.85.html>.

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