Complete Daimyo Suit of Armour 18th Century
Mid Edo Period - Circa 1750
This fine quality suit of armour would have been worn by a Daimyo (Lord) or one of his personal retainers as dictated by the Bakufu (military government) during the Edo Period
The fine 24 plate Hoshi bachi kabuto (helmet with prominent rivets) with rows of graduated large headed rivets finished in unlacquered russet iron to show the quality of the craftsmanship. The front mounted with a large gilt copper kuwa-gata dai holding a pair of impressive gilt copper kuwagata (horns) and a central ken (Chinese sword form). The large iron three lame shikoro (neck guard) lacquered black and laced in silk, the two fukigaeshi (turn backs) covered in egawa (printed leather) and bearing a gilded kamon (heraldic device) of a kocho (butterfly) most prominently used by the powerful Matsudaira and Ikeda families. The fine menpo (face armour) of ressei-men (furious power) style with extremely fine embossing of the shiwa (wrinkles) and a prominent chin. Again finished in unlacquered russet iron and surmounted with an impressive moustache in white yak hair. The Mogami Do (cuirass constructed of horizontal articulated strips) is finished in russet iron with matching egawa, blue silk lacing and mounted throughout with gilt copper kanamono (decorative plaques). The back with a large silk agemaki (bow). The shino-kote (armoured sleeves) with numerous russet iron splints, plates and chain mail. The splints have russet yasurime (incised parallel lines) a finish of the highest quality and are lined with imported Chinese silk, again a sign of very high quality and status. The tekko (armoured plate on the back of the hands) also bear the kocho kamon. The kusazuri (skirt of hanging scales), sode (shoulder guards) and kawa-haidate all of lacquered leather plates with matching silk lacing and printed leather edging. Both the haidate (thigh defence) and sode have the same imported Chinese silk lining as the sleeves and the sode also bear the kocho kamon. The suneate (shin guards) are of matching iron splints and chainmail complete with a rare pair of lacquered iron kogake (articulated iron foot protection). The modern hitsu (armour storage box) also bearing the kocho kamon.
The John Woodman Higgins Armoury Inventory number 2032.
Exhibition of Japanese Armour and Horse Ornaments.
N.Y., Yamanaka & co. 1933. Number 26.
Stephen V. Grancsay, ’The John Woodman Higgins Armoury, Worcester Massachusetts,’ 1961, page 124 (illustrated)
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