Breakfast at Tsarong's house

Breakfast at Tsarong's house

2001.35.386.1 (Print Black & White)

Image for comparison


Raw Image

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Evan Yorke Nepean

Date of Photo

November 1936?

Named Person

Evan Nepean, Tsarong Dzasa


Lhasa > Tsarong House

Accession number


Image Dimensions

106 x 72 mm

Nepean, Tsarong and two women sitting round a table in Tsarong's house, eating breakfast. They are eating from bowls with chopsticks and there is a selection of dishes on the table.

Further Information


Eating and Drinking

Photographic Process

Print silver

Date Acquired

Loaned August 2002

Donated by

Judy Goldthorp


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Lady Nepean

Previous Catologue Number

BA.1 [view film roll]

Other Information

Notes on print/mount: ' ? , Tsarong, ?, Nepean'; [ink no:] 21; [pencil no:] CY/10; [blue no:] 53B [KC 15/08/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Breakfast at Tsarong’s'; 'PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 3: ‘25/3 - Lunch with Tsarong (centre) Nepean on right' [MS 15/08/2006]

Research publication - Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya (eds) 2003 'Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan capital 1936-1947' (Serindia, Chicago). Page 10.

Biographical Information - Dasang Damdul Tsarong, two of his wives and Evan Nepean eating lunch in the Tsarong mansion. Lunch and dinner parties occupied much of the time of the British Missions to Lhasa. Members of the Tibetan aristocracy invited the British to dine in their homes, though the meals were often so large they were unable to finish them. Some of the delicacies provided, such as shark’s fin and sea slug, presented something of a challenge to the British palette. The demand for Basil Gould to attend these meals eventually became so great that he decreed that he would not dine with anybody below a fourth rank official. However, this rule did not apply to the rest of the Mission team and hence they often dined out during their time in Lhasa. [CH 2003]

Biographical Information - Evan Nepean (1909-2002) was a member of the Royal Corps of Signals and was posted to Lhasa in 1936 to work for Gould. Along with Dagg his job was to set up and operate the portable wireless which the British took with them. This had a great impact in curbing the power of the Chinese Mission as it provided another route through which information could be sent into and out of Lhasa. As well as this Nepean and Dagg were in charge of entertainment setting up PA systems and film shows for the various Tibetans with whom the British interacted. He was also an amateur photographer often accompanying and assisting Spencer Chapman on his photographic excursions. Nepean compiled a personal album of photographs from his time in Lhasa. He was only in the city for three months before being re-posted. [CH 2003]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'BA' comprise a group of negatives containing images of a breakfast party at Tsarong’s house, paper making, yaks and dzo grazing, Kamba dancers, football, air telephoto image of Drepung monastery, birds (vultures and lammergeyers), Regents procession at Shingdongka and winnowing. They were taken in November 1936 [MS 15/08/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Breakfast at Tsarong's house" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.

© The Pitt Rivers Museum