Central Asian Studies

Central Asian Studies continues a series of scholarly books on Central Asia and the Himalayas started in the early 1970s by a British publisher. The series comprises some re-issues of the previous books, as well as new titles.
NOTE: Limited availability of some of the older titles.

Archaeology Architecture Anthropology
Bibliography Languages Religion


The Cultural Heritage of Central Ladakh
by David Snellgrove and Tadeusz Skorupski
1977. 172 pp., 125 b&w plates and 20 colour plates, diagrams, maps, 30 x 21 cm., hardbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-53-1 $45.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8304-53-3

Ladakh existed as an independent western Tibetan Kingdom until 1834 when it was finally taken over by the rulers of Jammu and Kashmir, thus becoming an integral part of India. It has, however, remained one of the few regions where Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan way of life continue to flourish. During the last 26 years entry has been generally denied to outsiders for security reasons and only recently has it been possible for western scholars to visit Ladakh. Professor Snellgrove and Tadeusz Skorupski were the first to do so in 1974 when this ban was lifted, staying there through the hard winter months when the passes are blocked and the religious life is especially active.
    This highly illustrated study presents new material for the history of Ladakh culture and religion, focussing on their rich traditions of art and architecture. Despite the passage of so many warring and marauding armies in the past, Ladakh still preserves important traces of that early Tibetan Buddhist period when pure Indian influences were predominant. The 11th century monastery of Alchi which has remained practically intact is studied in great detail in this book, as are other later monasteries and forts of religious and historical interest.
The Cultural Heritage of Ladakh
Zangskar and the Cave Temples of Ladakh
by David Snellgrove and Tadeusz Skorupski
1980. 176 pp., 102 b&w plates and 4 colour plates, 3 maps, 30 x 21 cm., hardbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-55-8 $75.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8304-55-7

Part II of this study concentrates on the Zangskar monastery and cave temmples of Ladakh. Includes a translation of the biography of Rin-chen bZangpo, the great Translator.

“A serious and scholarly treatment.”
(Times Literary Supplement)
Early Sino-Tibetan Art
by Heather Stoddard
2008, second edition, 156 pp., 12 colour and 57 b & w plates, 29 x 21 cm., hardbound.
ISBN-10: 974-524-036-2 $50.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-036-0

A study of the artistic dialogue between the two great north Asian cultural centers of Tibet and China, commencing as early as the 9th century, through to the 15th century. This groundbreaking monograph is well illustrated with many objects which are otherwise inaccessible and bases its findings on translations of indigenous Tibetan, Chinese and Central Asian inscriptions. With new foreword by the author and extensive bibliography of Western language, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese sources, it is both attractive and scholarly.

(Originally published as ‘Early Sino-Tibetan Art’ (H. Karmay, 1975); long out of print and unavailable.)

[Read a review (German language) from the Preetorius Foundation]
Mamluk Painting
by Duncan Haldane
1978. 120 pp., 73 plates, diagrams, 30 x 21 cm., hardbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-33-7 $150.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8304-33-5

A descriptive account of Mamluk illustrated manuscripts providing stylistic comparisons of the Bahri and Burji periods.
Newar Art
Nepalese Art during the Malla Period
by A. W. Macdonald and Anne Vergati Stahl
1979. 166 pp., 6 colour and 111 b&w plates, 30 x 21 cm., hardbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-56-6 $60.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8304-56-4

Visitors to the Kathmandu Valley and students of Nepalese culture have long been impressed by the distinctive and complex art and architecture, which is thought of as typically Nepalese. In most cases, however, it is the creation of the original inhabitants of the valley, the Newars. Newar craftsmen worked in Tibet, at Lhasa, and were also much influenced by Indian traditions. This survey is confined to the Malla Period ending with the Ghorka conquest of 1768, but, with the continuing survival of this remarkable society and culture, it is of direct relevance to present-day Nepal.

“It is an exceptionally illuminating, thought-provoking volume…indispensable to students of Newar civilization.”
(Acta Orientalia)
The Tibetan Carpet
by Philip Denwood
1974, 1978, 1986, 1980. 120 pp., 24 colour plates, 83 b&w illustrations, and two maps, 30 x 21 cm., hardbound.
ISBN-10: 974-8304-57-4 $60.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8304-57-1

This classic study was the first comprehensive work on the subject, and provides an analysis of the weaving techniques in detail, classifies the various types of carpet and designs and illustrates in colour many fine examples from private collections.

“…a basic reference work to the subject providing an introduction of general interest and a wealth of material of interest to the specialist.”
(Oriental Art)