His Holiness the Dalai Lama

on Donnerstag, 21 Mai 2009. Posted in Brandes Autographs News, In the media

a preview of our personal autograph collection

Not a day goes by that Tibet’s struggle for independence and the authority of the Dalai Lama are not mentioned in the media. For this reason I would like to provide you with a brief biographical overview as well as a preview of our personal autograph collection.



His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Not a day goes by that Tibet’s struggle for independence and the authority of the Dalai Lama are not mentioned in the media. For this reason I would like to provide you with a brief biographical overview as well as a preview of our personal autograph collection.

Western politicians have engaged in many conversations with the Dalai Lama during these times of unrest which together and the approaching Olympic Games in China. Even Chancellor Merkel opted for a dialogue with the Tibetans over Beijing. In an interview in the “Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung,” she expressed her wish to meet with the Dalai Lama again, despite protest from the Chinese. The reception of the Dalai Lama at the office of the Federal Chancellor last September lead to damages in German-Chinese relations.

Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (bortn Llhamo Döndrub) was born on July 6th 1935 in Tibet. At the age of 2, he was recognized to be to the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama. He is the political and religious ruler of the Tibitans.

He is regarded as the reincarnation of Tschenresis, the Buddha of mercy, who is also the patron saint of Tibet. Tschenresis abstained from his own enlightenment and entry to Nirvana and will continue to be reborn until people have been liberated.

In the summer of 1949 when the Chinese ARMY started its takeover of Tibet, the 15-year old Dalai Lama had just began his rule of Tibet. On May 10th 1959 the people of Tibet rose up in protest against the Chinese occupation, resulting in a rebellion which lasted until the autumn of 1960 and cost around 90,000 Tibetans their lives. The Dalai Lama felt compelled to flee to India over the Himalayans. 



The signed large photo here is probably the earliest signature to appear in trading. Autographs from this time during the occupation are extremely rare. The accompanying letter from Mussorrie (Tibet) is dated May 23rd 1959 and originates from the collection of the renowned collector and AdA member Roy Deelay.

In Europe, one is automatically reminded of the Austrian mountain climbing legend and friend of the Dalai Lama, Heinrich Harrer, who died on 2006. Harrer entered into the limelight in 1936 for being the first to climb the north face of the Eiger. After his adventurous escape from the Indian internment camp in 1944, he developed a friendship with the Dalai Lama (with whom he shared a birthday) and became his adviser from 1946 until 1951.

He authored more than 20 books, the most famous being the bestseller “Seven Years in Tibet” which became world renowned (translated into 53 languages, with more than 4 millions copies worldwide to date) and made him famous. In 1997 Jean-Jacques Annaud adapted the book to the big screen with Brad Pitt playing the role of Heinrich Harrer.



This beautiful signed album page with the Tibetan seal originates from the year he became the Austrian golf champion and lived on Reichstraße 6 in Kitzbuehl

Unfortunately, Harrer’s work to raise public awareness was unable to prevent neither the failure of the Tibetan rebellion against the Chinese occupation in 1959 nor the present Dalai Lama’s flight to India into exile in Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) on March 17th.

On March 10th 1963 the Dalai Lama announced a democratic constitution for Tibet, which, should it enter into force, delegate primarily representative responsibilities to him. He once again strove for the Tibet’s autonomy within the People’s Republic of China, an endeavor which however was regarded as separatism.

While in exile, the Dalai Lama instituted a democratic government and attempted to assuage the suffering of the Tibetans within and outside of Tibet, as well as tried to draw international support for Tibet’s cause.


An interesting letter with a handwritten signature in which he speaks out against the difficult current situation with the hope of change through enlightenment.
The interest the Western World has for the Tibetan cause is shaped by ever-changing political, religious, and economic conjuncture: during the Cold War the United Sates provided support, including militarily with weapons shipments, to the opposition in Tibet. This action began after the thawing of the American-Chinese relations.
The Dalai Lama’s first travels abroad in 1973 (not including India) took him to the West, where they were eager to experience his Eastern wisdom.


This signed press photo portrays the Dalai Lama during his first visit to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1973.
When he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 in Oslo, he called for the people, “not to forget Tibet in this difficult phase of its history.”
The next autographed piece shows the Dalai Lama at the inaugural speech in Bonn on July 14th 1996.


The conference, initiated by the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation, had the goal of Tibetan independence.
Despite the many attempts by the Dalai Lama to engage in dialogue with the Chinese, talks have yet to take place.

The following signed photos are frequently found on the market.
The earliest autograph card from his Holiness (mid 1970’s) Depiction of the POSTWEG from Dharmsala (India).



Autograph cards from the 1990’s 

Small autographed card 


At the IFA in Berlin on 04.09.1991; personally obtained signature 


Dalai Lama signing…


Autographs and signed letter are less frequently offered for sale.

This has much to do with the fact that he answered his correspondence with authentic signatures for many years and personally enjoyed signing autographs (1 per person).

Earlier signed photos during the Chinese occupation are extremely rare.

All autographs shown here belong to the personal collection of Markus Brandes.

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