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Box: MAR.O.71 & A & B-1912

Object information

Awaiting location update






Box, lacquer with silver metal rim mounts. Rectangular box with rounded corners, a seated lid (A) and containing a tray (B). The nashiji (shimmering spangles) ground is decorated in gold, silver-grey and red hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design) with an empty carriage standing in a remote field of flowering plants and autumn grass beneath the moon. The flowering plants and autumn grass spread down two opposing sides and corners of the lower section on a nashiji ground. The tray stands on four bracket feet and is decorated in gold, silver-grey, red and black with a man kneeling, his red robe vibrant against the gold and gold-black ground. The sides of the tray are in gold and the lower half is decorated with grasses on the gold ground. The base of the tray, the inside and the base of the box are nashiji.

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 8.6 cm
Length: 22.2 cm
Width: 17.7 cm

Relative size of this object

22.2 cm8.6 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


The design refers to the fourth chapter of The Tale of Genji, a fictional account of the life of Prince Genji that was written by a woman of the Heian period imperial court. The image of the carriage alludes to the prince's secret visit to a desserted mansion with a young woman who died in her sleep after their romantic meeting, perhaps because of the jealous spirit of another woman.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Lacquering : Box, lacquer, with a nashiji ground, decorated in hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: white rectangular label with a triple line blue border

  • Text: 2987 NE
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in black ink
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.O.71 & A & B-1912
Primary reference Number: 24076
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 11 January 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 11 January 2023

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: 2023-06-08 07:29:02

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-08 07:29:02|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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