Buddhist altar cloth (uchishiki)

Edo period
19th century

Object Place: Japan


66 x 67 cm (26 x 26 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk satin-ground with silk and gilt paper strip discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts tied down with supplementary warps in twill-weave

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Buddhist altar cloth (uchishiki) with design of linked hexagons and squares (shokkô pattern) filled with floral and phoenix motifs and interlocking circular “seven treasures” pattern (shippô) in pink, blue, green, yellow and black silk and gold discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts on a reddish-orange twill-weave silk ground; lined with plain-weave hemp or linen.


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