Petrograd: 15-ia Gos. tipografiia, 1919. Item #684
X, 472 pp. 30x23 cm. In original printed wrappers. Tears of the spine with lack of small fragments, covers faded, but clean and very good internally.
First edition. Rare. The book includes some of the earliest photographs of Tibet.
The eye-witness account of Tibetan life done by the Buddhist traveler, instructed by Russian Geographical Society.
Oriental scholar and physician Gombojab Tsybikov (1873-1930) has spent 888 days in Tibet (most of the time in Lhasa) making the diary of what he saw and taking photographs. He joined the commercial caravan in Urga (Ulaanbaatar) and stopped by the well-known Kumbum and Labrang monasteries where he had been waiting for three months for a large pilgrims’ caravan directed to Lhasa.
Russian activity in Tibet at the time was substantial: Przhevalsky expedition a decade before that time failed to reach Lhasa, so the Foreign Ministry decided to send the fellow Buddhist explorers to Tibet to lobby Empire’s interests. As a result, Tsybikov met with XIIIth Dalai Lama. Later in 1905 they would meet again in Mongolia during British occupation of Tibet.
The book is illustrated with photographs and drawings. The photographs were taken with the hidden camera. The traveler had created plans of buildings, took photographs of people and views, artworks and clothes, weapons and armor. The diaries reflect the peripeteia of traveling with caravans and contain notes of everything that could help travelers to Tibet: routes, the quality of pastures for livestock feed, etc.
Tsybikov dedicated the rest of his life to Tibet as well, translating texts and teaching. He has also created the first textbook in Russian on Tibetan language, which remained the only one until 1990s.
Worldcat locates 5 paper copies in Princeton University, Library of Congress, University of Chicago, University of Washington, University of Montana.
Price: $1,500.00Status: On Hold