Sword cover (katana bukuro)

Edo period
18th or 19th century

Object Place: Japan


Height x width: 42 x 5 1/2 in. (106.7 x 14 cm)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk doublecloth

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Sword cover (katana bukuro) with design of repeating bird and floral motifs in gold and blue silk doublecloth. The cover is made of a length of fabric folded over and stitched together on three sides, has a single loop carrier through which a dark blue twisted silk cord is suspended, and is lined with a dark blue and natural ecru silk with floral and “endless knot” motifs. Made from Chinese fabric, possibly fifteenth century. The lining is also made from Chinese fabric, possibly seventeenth or eighteenth 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