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LOT 3504
12th December 2023
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LOT 3504
WHITE, John Claude. Tibet and Lhasa. Calcutta: Johnston and Hoffmann, [1908.] Oblong 4to (203 x 270mm.) Title, 2pp. 'Preface', 53 photogravure plates, including 1 folding panorama to rear, letterpress text leaf to each plate. (Toning, occasional minor spotting, finger-marks to margins of plate 'Group of Nuns', crease to one panel of folding panorama.) Original maroon cloth, gilt lettering to upper cover, g.e. (rubbing to extremities, some scuffing to covers). Note: very rare. John Claude White, a political officer in Sikkim, was asked to join the 'Tibet Frontier Commission' under the command of Francis Younghusband, and the military command of Brigadier-General Macdonald. The Tibet expedition (the 'Imperial Raj' also had two hundred Indian troops) was intended to ease trade with British India but it also had the covert intention of warding off Russian influence in Lhasa, and the fear that the Chinese were going to hand Tibet over to the Russians. White's photographs were the first published record of Tibet and Lhasa. They were initially published in two separate formats. Firstly, individually, or in half-tone carbons prints. In 1907-08 they were then issued in a 2 volume set of albums, with descriptions by C.B. Bayley, but this publication was immediately withdrawn in fear that it revealed too many British secrets to the Chinese, only 6 copies of this set are known to have survived. This single-volume edition was then published but it, too, was immediately withdrawn. The British Library has no copy of this edition. The images in this volume include: eight views of the Potola, the palace of the Dalai Lama; 2 views of the fort at Khambajong; the Abbot at Khambajong; Gyantze Jong; Debung monastery; a group of lamas at Debung monastery; Mount Everest; Chongu lake; Phema village; Bridge at Phema; Yaks in Ekkas; Goorkha Post; View of the Yamdok Tso; Chaksam Ferry; the Astrologer's summer residence; senior lamas of Sera monastery; entrance to Lhasa; a street scene in Lhasa; the Regent of Tibet; The Shapes; the Chinese Amban and the panorama of Lhasa.
Hammer price: £10,000
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