Buddhist altar cloth (uchishiki)

Meiji era
late 19th century, made from 17th century fabric

Object Place: Japan


209.6 x 209.8 cm (82 1/2 x 82 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk satin-weave ground, pieced, tie resist-dyed (kanoko shibori), embroidered (shishû) with silk, couched (koma nui) with gold-wrapped thread

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Buddhist altar cloth (uchishiki), made from several pieces stitched together, with design of maple leaves and chrysanthemum embroidered with silk and couched with gold metallic thread on a hand tie-dyed white silk satin ground; lined with white and pink plain-weave silk. This altar cloth is made from two 17th-century robes (kosode).


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