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No. 12. Tantabeng. Group of Pagodas.

No. 12. Tantabeng. Group of Pagodas.

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(12)

Item number: 61112

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe of three ruined temples at Tantabeng in Burma (Myanmar), from a portfolio of 120 prints. A trip to Tantabeng a few miles north of Yenangyaung on the east bank of the Irrawaddy (just visible in the background of this picture) is mentioned in Yule's narrative 'Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855', and Tantabeng is marked (with a question mark) on the map in that volume. A brief description of the monuments is given at p.34 of Yule's narrative. The text accompanying the photograph in Tripe's portfolio states, 'These buildings are in a remarkable and ancient style, seen more highly developed at Pugahm [Pagan or Bagan]. The interiors are painted; and almost by the designs remind one of Byzantine frescoes rudely copied'. Tripe, an officer in the Madras Infantry, was attached to the British diplomatic mission to the Burmese court in 1855, the purpose of which was to persuade King Mindon Min to ratify the peace treaty of his predecessor Pagan Min who had signed away the province of Pegu at the conclusion of the Anglo-Burmese war of 1852. The mission was headed by Arthur Phayre with Henry Yule as Secretary. In the words of Lord Dalhousie explaining the mission to his superiors in London: 'such officers should be chosen for this purpose as shall be capable, in various ways, of collecting and furnishing information to the Government upon all points, on which it may be of advantage hereafter to possess accurate knowledge, and which may be useful also for our future purposes.' Tripe's portfolio, produced for government purposes, comprises the first extensive photographic record produced in Burma.

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