Tibet - Younghusband Expedition photographs - Ray, Major MacCarthay
58 silver prints of Tibet and the Younghusband Sikkim Tibet Mission Force 1903-04 Expedition, mostly 9 x 11.2cms. - 10 x 12.5cms, the six panoramic photographs 8.5 x 29.3cms., loosely inserted in a modern album
Estimate £10,000-15,000

Note: The photographs are identical to those by Major Ray in the album held by the Royal Geographical Society in London, entitled "Collection of photographs of the country marked through and places visited by the Sikkim Tibet Mission Force 1903-04." The R.G.S. album contains photographs by Lt. G.I. Davys, J.M.S., Major Ray, Mr Claude White, & Capt. Young. The captions listed below are those given in the R.G.S. album for identical photographs by Major Ray.

1) On the Yak La
2) View near Champithang
3) A half in the Chumbi Valley below Dotha, Jan. 04
4) The Tongsa Penlop and his following
5) The Tongsa Penlop and his suite.
6) The Tongsa Penlop and his suite.
7) Phari Jong, February 1904
8) Samdinda between Kalatso and Kangma. A slight skirmish took place here during the first advance.
9) Ne-nyeng, or Nai-ni, village where the fight book place on June 26th 1904
10) The guns firing into Nai-ni (i.e. Ne-nyeng) village during the fighting on June 26th 1904
11) The glacier behind the Tibetan position on the Karo La Pass. Troops resting after the Tibetans had retired.
12) Sheppard inspects the Tibetan position on the Karo La.
13) Nichi-kang sang. The great posts at the Gyantse end of the Karo La.
14) The Jong at Gyantse, taken from the Mission compound.
15) Gurkha Post, showing the way it was pounded by the Jong.
16) The great Chorten in the Palkor Choide Monastery Gyantse, and Gyantse.
17) Inside Gyantse Fort. Showing a traverse and the loop-holed outer wall.
18) The Mission Compound, Gyantse. The top of the Jong can be seen in the background. The Jong was not firing all the time. The "Mission Roof" is seen sandbagged.
19) Tse-Chen. The guns waiting before commencing to shell.
20) The Ta Llama arrives at the first Durbar at Gyantse.
21) Gyantse Jong in all its glory (i.e. before shelling) July 4th 1904. The Chinese house can be seen at the foot of the Jong. It is next to the Garden to the right and has four windows.
22) After the capture of Gyantse Jong. Part of the town at the back of the Jong. Our mules can be seen waiting to take away grain.
23) The G.O.C. inspects the Tibetan position on the Karo La. [General Officer Commanding Brigadier-General Macdonald]. Panorama.
24) The Karo La looking towards Nagartse and the Tibetan position.
25) Sikhs destroying a Tibetan Wall [in the Karo La valley]
26) Nagartse Jong
27) The top of the Kamba La Pass
28) The Sanpo [i.e. Tsang Po River] Valley from the Kamba La.
29) The ferry proper at Chaksam [on the Tsang Po River]. From this rock the barts started to cross the river. One is just leaving
30) A big boat just leaving the rock.
31) Chaksam Monastery [on the Tsang Po River] showing the old Tibetan chain cables.
32) Chaksam Monastery, showing the old Tibetan chain cables, and island just below Chaksam ferry.
33) Chaksam Monastery, showing the old Tibetan chain cables, and island just bekow Chaksam ferry.
34) The Sanpo River. [Panorama].
35) Embarking at Chaksam Ferry just below the rock.
36) Embarking mules at Chaksam Ferry. The VI M.C. embarking on the way to Lhasa.
37) The Sanpo, somewhere above Chaksam.
38) Marching along the Kyi-Chu to Lhasa
39) The road to Lhasa near Shallott
40) The plain of Lhasa, shewing the city in the distance.
41) The first arrival at Lhasa. The Potola on its hill in the background.
42) The main gate of Lhasa, variant view.
43) The Potola from the Ridge.
44) The Regent's House, now a monastery at Lhasa.
45) A group of Lhasa Tibetans
46) Tibetan ladies bring grain into camp at Lhasa.
47) The Potola from the Ridge.
48) The Forbidden city.
49) The Nepalese resident at Lhasa visits our camp at Lhasa.
50) Lhasa [panorama taken from the summit of Chagpo-ri].
51) The Potola from just inside the gate.
52) The top of the Nyalsa La looking towards Shigatse, Sept. 3rd, 1904 [panoramic view]
53) The Daibung Monastery, Lhasa.
54) British camp on plan at Lhasa with the Potola and Medical college in distance. [Panorama]
55) The arrival of the Sha-pes in our camp at Lhasa.
56) Lhasa [Panoramic view of Lhasa from the summit of Chagpo-ri].
57) [Unidentified view, probably of the Chumbi valley, Southern Tibet]
58) [Unidentified view, probably of the Chumbi valley, Southern Tibet].


Major MacCarthay Reagh Emmet Ray (1867-906), 7th Rajput Regiment, was the Intelligence Officer on the Younghusband Tibet expedition. He was the sixth most senior officer of the Escort staff under Brigadier-General J.R.L. Macdonald, the Commanding Officer. He is listed in Appendix F. of Percival Landon's Lhasa, and is referred to in the text of that work.

Early photographs of Tibet and Lhasa are rare and collections of original photographs taken by members of Younghusband's expedition even more so. Virtually all such collections are all now to be found in institutional collections. The Royal Geographical Society in London possesses only one volume of original photographs of the Younghusband Tibet expedition, compiled by Lt. G.I Davys, J.M.S., referred to above. The National Army Museum in London holds one album of photographs of The Tibet expedition, also by Major Ray. No other photographs by Major Ray have been traced in any other institution. Cambridge University Library holds the photograph album of E.C. Cooper Walsh and Sir Francis Younghusband's own photographs of the expedition are held by the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia.

The only comparable album of photographs to have appeared in recent years was the album of Lt. Col. Prendergast Manson, sold at Sotheby's, 10 May 2001, lot 315, for £30,550. It is highly unlikely that there are any other significant collections of original photographs of the Younghusband Tibet expedition in private hands.

Sold for £20,000 (buyer's premium included)