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Box: O.4-1969

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Clothes box with bamboo, pine and prunus. Lacquer on wooden core, inlaid with mother of pearl. Choson Dynasty. This box which is covered with black-lacquered shark-skin and lined with paper, is completely enclosed by its cover, which reaches down to the base. The corners are protected by iron fittings. The reddish-brown lacquer is inlaid with mother of pearl. The top is divided into three zones, which are decorated, respectively, with a crane among bamboo, a bird's nest in a pine tree, and another crane flying above a prunus tree. The sides are inlaid with a composite flower-scroll. Where the lacquer is missing the underdrawing of the design in black ink is revealed on the wooden core.


History note: Bought from Bluett & Sons 1969, who bought it from London Gallery Ltd., Tokyo 1968

Legal notes

Bought with the Cunliffe Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 10.7 cm
Length: 66.0 cm
Width: 35.9 cm

Relative size of this object

66 cm10.7 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1969-05-29) by Bluett & Sons Ltd.


Choson Dynasty (1392 - 1910)
18th century
1700 - 1800


The box may have been used to hold official or ceremonial robes. Similar motifs frequently appear in Korean porcelain of the eighteenth century.

Components of the work

Lining composed of paper
Decoration composed of lacquer mother-of-pearl
Cover Over Box composed of sharkskin

Materials used in production

Wood (plant material)

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: O.4-1969
Primary reference Number: 16611
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-02 18:49:38

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-02 18:49:38|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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