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North-east view of the Great Pagoda (Shwesandaw or Temple of the Golden Hair Relic) at Prome, 1852

Photograph by Surgeon John McCosh (1805-1885), 1852.

This glimpse of the splendour of Prome (Pyay) is evidence of McCosh's growing skill with his calotype camera. By the time of the 2nd Burma War (1852-1853) he was able to produce larger pictures, which enabled him to take landscapes as well as portraits. This picture of artillery pieces arranged outside the Great Pagoda was taken shortly after the fall of the city in July 1852. The statues are 'Chinthes', stylised lions. They are an important Burmese cultural symbol and are often found in pairs guarding the entrances to temples.

From an album of 310 photographs, 1848-1853.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1962-04-3-286


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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