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Box: MAR.O.60 & A-1912

Object information

Awaiting location update






Box, wood and lacquer applied with mother of pearl and gut/twine. Box in the shape of a biwa. The lower section is of black lacquer polished to a deep gloss (roiro) with a gold edge. The neck has five frets; the four gut/twine strings are fastened to four tapered wooden pegs which are waisted at the outer end and lodged in the holes on the neck. The peg-board at the end of the neck is applied with gold. The cover (A) has four strings and is applied with two mother of pearl discs, one of a sun and one of a moon. The underside is decorated in low-relief with a bird in flight, in gold with a red crest, on a black roiro ground.

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 3.3 cm
Length: 14.9 cm
Width: 6.2 cm

Relative size of this object

14.9 cm3.3 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)
Circa 1700 - 1868

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lacquer mother-of-pearl twine gold
Box composed of wood (plant material)
Lower Section

Techniques used in production

Lacquering : Wood and lacquer applied with mother of pearl and gut/twine, the lower section is polished to a deep gloss (roiro), the underside of the cover is decorated in low-relief

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.O.60 & A-1912
Primary reference Number: 23982
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 4 January 2017 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 (2022) "Box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-03 12:49:05

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-03 12:49:05|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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