Buddhist altar cloth (uchishiki)

Edo period
18th or 19th century

Object Place: Japan


95 x 65 cm (37 3/8 x 25 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk twill-weave with silk and gilt paper strip discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts in twill-weave

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Triangular-shaped Buddhist altar cloth (uchishiki) with design of interlocking hexagons and squares, circles and other geometrical forms (shokkô pattern variation) filled with paired phoenix, dragons, lion-dogs, clouds and flowers in reddish-orange, pink, green, purple, tan and white silk and gilt paper strip discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts; lined with white plain-weave linen or hemp.


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection