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Box: MAR.O.89 & A-I-1912

Object information

Current Location: In storage






Box, lacquer with silver metal rims. Rectangular box with a seated lid (A) containing four smaller covered boxes (B, C, D, E). The lid is decorated in gold, silver, black and red takamakie (high-relief sprinkled design) on a gyobu nashiji (nashiji using large flakes of gold) ground with a cockerel, a hen and two chicks amid flowering plants. The flowering plants continue on the sides of the box and each side has additional decoration of a daisy and butterfly, peony, and a butterfly and a poppy on a gyobu nashiji ground. The fourth side is decorated with red carnations on a nashiji (shimmering spangles) ground. The interior and the base are in nashiji and the base is carved with a hole in the top right corner. The lids (F, G, H, I) of the four smaller boxes are each decorated to resemble a book and are richly decorated in gold, black, red and aogai (small pieces of blue and green inlaid shell) showing a river winding through rocky landscape, and each box is decorated with different branches and grasses: one with blossom, one with maple, one with autumn grasses and one with reeds, jakago (woven baskets filled with stones to strengthen the banks of the river) and birds in flight. In the top left corner of each box is a rectangular panel of gold foil and aogai diaper pattern. The sides of the boxes resemble pages and bindings of a book and are decorated with fine horizontal lines on a black ground. The interiors and the bases are nashiji. The rims of the lid and lower section are in silver metal.

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 3.5 cm
Length: 12.1 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

Rims composed of metal ( silver-coloured)
Decoration composed of shell (animal material)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Lacquering : Box, lacquer with silver metal rims, decorated in takamakie (high-relief sprinkled design) on a gyobu nashiji (nashiji using large flakes of gold), nashiji (shimmering spangles) and aogai (small pieces of blue-green inlaid shell), bases and interiors are nashiji

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: rectangular white label with a red border

  • Text: 2427
  • Location: Stuck on the inside of the lid
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: rectangular white label with a blue border

  • Text: 2921 HE 1X/.1.
  • Location: Fixed on the top left corner of the base
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.O.89 & A-I-1912
Primary reference Number: 24187
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 4 February 2020 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: 2024-04-19 10:28:45

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-19 10:28:45|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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