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Box: MAR.O.88 & A-I-1912

Object information

Awaiting location update






Box, lacquer with mother of pearl. Rectangular box with an overhanging lid (A) cusped midway on two long sides, containing four smaller covered boxes (B, C, D & E). The top of the lid and the exterior of the box are decorated in takamakie (high-relief sprinkled design) in gold, red, black and aogai (small pieces of blue-green inlaid shell) with a design of overlapping blossoms and maple leaves on a hirame (flat flakes of gold) ground. The lids (F, G, H & I) of the smaller boxes are each designed to resemble a book and are richly decorated in gold, red, black and aogai in takamakie or hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design) showing a river winding through rocky landscape and each lid is decorated with different branches, one with blossom, one with maple, one with autumnal grasses and one with reeds, jakago (woven baskets filled with stones to strengthen the banks of rivers) and birds in flight. In the top left corner of each box is a rectangular panel of red and gold diaper pattern inscribed in black with a title (possibly relating to flowers or the seasons). The sides of the boxes resemble pages and bindings of a book and are decorated with fine horizontal gold lines on a black ground. The bases and interiors are nashiji (shimmering spangles). The base of the lower section of the box has a circular hole to one side.

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 2.2 cm
Length: 11.9 cm
Width: 9.2 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


Edo Period (1615-1868)#
Circa 1700 - 1868

Components of the work

Decoration composed of mother-of-pearl shell (animal material)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Lacquering : Lacquer with mother of pearl, decorated in takamakie (high-relief sprinkled design), hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design) and aogai (small pieces of blue-green inlaid shell), bases and interiors are nashiji

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.O.88 & A-I-1912
Primary reference Number: 24185
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 11 January 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 30 August 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 (2024) "Box" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-29 13:18:16

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-29 13:18:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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