TIBET Album, likely to have belonged a mechanic responsible for the first motor cars Tibet
Lot 355
TIBET Album, likely to have belonged an army mechanic responsible for the first motor cars Tibet
Sold for £5,400 (US$ 8,389) inc. premium

Lot Details
TIBET
Album, likely to have belonged an army mechanic responsible for the first motor cars Tibet, 45 gelatin silver prints, window mounted, contemporary cloth, 4to, 1907-1908

Footnotes

  • In 1907 two motor cars were carried over the Himalayas into Tibet. One was an 8hp Clement brought as a gift for the Panchen Lama, (pictured in this album with the Chinese Amban at the wheel), who presided over Tashilhunpo monastery near Shigatse. The other was a Peugeot which belonged to Captain O'Connor (later to become Sir Frederick O'Connor), who was posted to Gyantse as the British Trade Agent under the Anglo-Tibet Convention. He is pictured in this album driving his Peugeot on the plain in front of the Gyantse fortress.

    Freddie O'Connor, (1870-1943), had served in the Swat Valley and the Tirah campaign between 1897-1898, at Gilgit between 1899-1903, and as the Tibetan-speaking officer and secretary to Younghusband's Lhasa Mission between 1903-1904, staying on as the British Trade Agent at Gyantse. During his appointment in Tibet, O'Connor struck up a close friendship with the Panchen Lama and took him to Calcutta in 1905 to meet the later King George and Queen Mary. Upon his departure Captain O'Connor gave his car as a gift to the Panchen Lama and it is reported that the Panchen Lama shed tears when O'Connor left the country.

    The Peugeot is pictured on the plain in front of the Gyantse fortress in F. O'Connor's On the Frontier and Beyond John Murray, 1931.

    Images approximately 80 x 140mm. and include: Captain O'Connor in his Peugeot (2); ?the Chinese Amban in his 8hp Clement; native portraits (11, including Tibetan ladies); Tibetan famers with yaks (2); horse-drawn cart; a christian cemetery in Tibet; native portraits and British portraits in India (26, including regimental group portraits).

Saleroom notices

  • The car presented to the Panchen Lama has been more exactly identified as a Laurin-Klement made at Mlada Boleslav in Bohemia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). The driver pictured in our photograph has been identified as Raja Ugyen Dorji (1855-1916), Bhutan's Trade Agent at Kalimpong (just on the British side of the old border with Sikkim), indicating the route over which the motor cars were man-hauled
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