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Box: MAR.O.93 & A-1912

Object information

Awaiting location update






Box, lacquer with coral, shell and green stone (possibly jade) inlay. Rectangular box with rounded corners and seated lid (A). The ground is partly gold and partly black, speckled with gold. The gold ground lid is decorated in takamakie (high-relief sprinkled design) and hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design) of two birds, one in gold and silver, and the other inlaid in shell with pink wings, standing beside a stream which runs through undulating hills covered with grasses and other small plants. Two swallows fly around gilt and red pampas grass and a flowering/fruiting shrub (Chinese bellflower). The leaves are in two-tone gold and some are inlaid in shell and jade; some of the flowers are also inlaid in shell. A smaller plant in the foreground has inlaid pearl and coral buds and flowers. The black and gold ground of the lower half is decorated on the sides with a design of wheel segments in gold, silver and red lacquer; three wheels on the sides and one wheel at each end are shown floating in a stream. The interior and the base are nashiji (shimmering spangles).

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 6.7 cm
Length: 15.6 cm
Width: 11.9 cm

Relative size of this object

15.6 cm6.7 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

Inlay composed of jade coral pearl shell (animal material)
Box composed of wood (plant material)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Lacquering : Box, lacquer, decorated in takamakie (high-relief sprinkled design) and hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design), with shell, coral, pearl and jade inlay, base and interior are nashiji (shimmering spangles)

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.O.93 & A-1912
Primary reference Number: 24225
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: 2023-02-04 23:14:10

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-04 23:14:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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