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Box: MAR.O.45 & A-1912

Object information

Current Location: In storage






Box, lacquer and mother of pearl. Rectangular box and seated lid (A) with bevelled edges. The black lacquer ground on the exterior has brown patches resembling tortoiseshell and is finely inlaid with mother of pearl. The central medallion contains an exotic bird with outspread wings and is surrounded by six pairs of entwined doves holding a spray of scrolling foliage in their beaks. In each of the corners of the lid is a scrolling flower spray and two bands of flower heads border the edges. The sides of the lower section are inlaid with six doves and scrolling foliage. The interior and the base are black.

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 13.8 cm
Length: 35.1 cm
Width: 27.7 cm

Relative size of this object

35.1 cm13.8 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: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


Edo (Japanese period, 1615-1868)
Meiji Period (1868-1912)
Circa 1850 - 1912

Components of the work

Inlay composed of mother-of-pearl
Lid Edges

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: rectangular piece of paper

  • Text: Black lacquer box with pearl inlay. Japanese. To be kept. O.C. Raphael, July, 1934. Marlay Bequest, 1912
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: on same piece of paper as above

  • Text: Copy of Shosuhu piece Mid 19 century - 20 century
  • Method of creation: Written in red biro at a later date
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: rectangular white label with black border

  • Text: Fitzwilliam Museum Marlay Bequest 1912
  • Location: Stuck on reverse
  • Method of creation: Printed
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.O.45 & A-1912
Primary reference Number: 23861
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 20 March 2019 Last processed: Friday 21 May 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-04-01 00:16:28

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-04-01 00:16:28|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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