Sword cover (katana bukuro)

Edo period
18th or 19th century

Object Place: Japan


Overall: 82 x 15 x 1 cm (32 5/16 x 5 7/8 x 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk twill-weave ground with silk discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts tied down with supplementary warps in twill-weave

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Sword cover (katana bukuro) with design of floral roundels, coins and other auspicious symbols in green, blue orange, gold silk discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts on a dark blue twill-weave silk ground. The cover is made of a length of fabric folded together and stitched on three sides to form a sheath and is lined with pale green plain-weave silk; it has a single loop carrier with a long, narrow tie of pale green plain-weave silk along one lengthwise side. The fabric is Chinese and possibly fourteenth or fifteenth century.


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