Treasure #37 in Molly Oldfield’s Secret Museum is a Tibetan Abbot’s costume. A few years ago it was hidden away in the V & A’s Blythe House storage rooms and may be there still. The owner of the costume was a regent in a Lhasa monastery, at a time when the search was on for the 13th Dalai Lama. Found, Thubten Gyatso took the throne in the Potala Palace in 1879, when he was 3 years old, assuming political power when he was nineteen. The experience of invasions of his country by the British in 1903 and the Chinese in 1910 informed a prediction he made not long before his death in 1933.
Very soon in this land (with a harmonious blend of religion and politics), deceptive acts may occur from without and within. At that time, if we do not dare to protect our territory, our spiritual personalities, including the Victorious Father and Son [Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama], may be exterminated without trace, the property and authority of our Lakangs [residences of reincarnated lamas] and monks may be taken away. Moreover, our political system, created by the Three Great Dharma Kings, will vanish without anything remaining. The property of all people, high and low, will be seized and the people forced to become slaves. All living beings will have to endure endless days of suffering and will be stricken with fear. Such a time will come. [The Secret Museum, p.220.]