Buddhist altar cloth (uchishiki)

Edo period
18th or 19th century

Object Place: Japan


63 x 65 cm (24 13/16 x 25 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk satin-weave ground, embroidered (shishû) with silk, couched (koma-nui) with gold-wrapped thread

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Buddhist altar cloth (uchishiki), divided diagonally, with plain gold silk on one half and, on the other, a design of linked hexagon pattern (kikkô-mon), chrysanthemums, paulownia, clouds, Chinese deities and a bridge over a river with lotus in blue, green, purple, pink, orange, brown, black and white silk embroidery and gold metallic thread couching on a gold twill-weave silk ground; lined with natural plain-weave hemp or linen with small inscription hand-painted in ink.




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