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Box: MAR.O.90 & A-J-1912

Object information

Awaiting location update






Lacquered wood. Rectangular box in two tiers with a seated lid (A) and containing four smaller covered boxes (C, D, E, F). The silver-grey ground of the lid and sides is decorated in gold, silver-grey, black and red hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design) and togidashi (brought out by polishing) with aogai (small pieces of blue-green inlaid shell) details with genre scenes. The lid is ornamented with a design of the tea ceremony; two ladies sit on a verandah in front of a screen, which is decorated with birds in branches, and beside a willow tree. They are surrounded by seated musicians and attendants; two maids bring in tea. The sides are similarly decorated, one long side with a willow tree in landscape; one short side with two figures with swords, and one wearing a hat and carrying a staff beside a willow; the other long side shows a nobleman and lady both carrying swords walking beside two willow trees with an attendant behind and a boy with a staff before them; the fourth side shows a lady in red with two swords following an attendant. The middle section (B) has a nashiji interior and contains the four smaller boxes and lids (G, H, I, J). The lids are individually decorated, one with red and gold scale pattern in a diagonal zig zag against a black and gold powdered ground; one with a band of red and gold diaper pattern over a black and gold powdered ground, one with two silver-grey and gold cranes on the branch of a willow tree on a black and gold powdered ground, and the fourth box with gold and grey flowering hagi on a red and gold lacquer ground. The four boxes all have fundame (matt gold) sides and the interiors and the bases are nashiji (shimmering spangles). The interior and the base of the lower section are in nashiji and the interior of the lid is nashiji.

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 8 cm
Length: 14.5 cm
Width: 10.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


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

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of shell (animal material)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Lacquering : Box, lacquer decorated in hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design) and togidashi (brought out by polishing) with aogai (small pieces of blue-green inlaid shell), interiors and bases nashiji

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: rectangular white label, 'E' in red, and '186' inscribed in black with faint characters in black beneath

  • Text: 'E', '186'
  • Location: Stuck in one corner of the base
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.O.90 & A-J-1912
Primary reference Number: 24216
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: 2024-04-17 14:44:33

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-17 14:44:33|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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