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Box: O.2 & A-C-1947

Object information

Awaiting location update






Lacquer box, suzuri-bako (box for writing utensils) with wooden box. Writing box (suzuribako), lacquer, of standard rectangular form, with bevelled edges and pewter rims, and lid (A). The nashiji (shimmering spangles) ground is decorated in takamakie (high-relief sprinkled design), hiramakie (low-relief sprinkled design), aogai (mother of pearl inlay) and heidatsu of gold and silver leaf (cut sheet-gold or sheet-silver applied to a lacquer base) with two hares among autumn grass and lespidesia. One hare is of raised pewter, the other of gold takamakie. The mikayeshi (the inside of the lid) shows gold hiramakie shinobu (hare's foot fern) and feathery foliage, partly hiding a fence of aogai shell inlay. In the lower section of the box are two removable brush trays (B & C), of differing widths designed with grass and lespidesia to match the lid, on nashiji ground and mounted with pewter rims. One tray contains two brushes (one inscribed with characters), and the other tray has two cakes of ink, one decorated in gold with two dragons and flaming pearls, inscribed? in blue on the reverse, the other cake of ink decorated in gold with a crane wading beside bamboo and pine, inscribed? in blue on the reverse. The trays are on each side of a plain nashiji and fundame (smooth matt gold) tray with a raised ink-stone and a plain circular silver mizuire (water-dropper). A silk cushion with yellow ochre, green and brown floral design sits on top of the ink-stone and trays. The suzuribako is wrapped in a seagreen silk cloth and placed in a wooden box with brown ribbon ties.


History note: Bought at the Daimyo Hori's sale, May 28, 1908, Tokyo; copy of style of Shimidzu Kukei of Kaga, about 1640. R.C. Ex. 1915 no 10. PL. LI (Red Cross Exhibition held in London, 1915).

Measurements and weight

Height: 4.4 cm
Length: 23.7 cm
Width: 22.2 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1947) by Raphael, Oscar C.


Edo Period (1615-1868)
19th Century, Mid#
Circa 1830 - 1860

Components of the work

Box composed of wood (plant material)
Inlay composed of mother-of-pearl shell (animal material)
Decoration composed of gold silver
Rims composed of pewter

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Lacquering : Lacquer, with bevelled edges and pewter rims, nashiji ground decorated in takamakie (high-relief sprinkled design), aogai (mother of pearl inlay) and heidatsu (cut sheet-gold or sheet-silver applied to lacquer base)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: circular white sticky label, 'O.2-1947. Raphael Bequest 1941' in black ink and '8' in blue ink on reverse

  • Text: 'O.2-1947. Raphael Bequest 1941' and '8'
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in black and blue ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: small circular white label

  • Text: 8
  • Location: Stuck on the ink stone and on exterior of the wooden box
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: O.2 & A-C-1947
Primary reference Number: 24301
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 11 January 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 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: 2024-04-14 13:25:06

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{{cite web|url= |title=Box |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-14 13:25:06|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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