Samurai Helmet

Samurai Helmet Ornament


From: Japan

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number 19879A
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Japanese
Provenience Japan
Date Made 18th Century - Early 19th Century
Section Asian
Materials Wood | Lacquer
Iconography Fukamizo Crest

Black-lacquered iron 16-plate helmet with vertical ridges (tetsu kuro urushi nuri ju-roku ken so-fukurin suji tate-bachi kabuto) for a ceremonial suit of samurai armor. The entire helmet bowl is coated in black lacquer and the vertical ridges (suji tate) are edged with gold strips (so-fukurin). The gold strips are anchored by ornamental plates (higaki) at the base of the helmet bowl. A four-tiered fixture (tehen-no-kanamono) sits atop the helmet bowl and curves to conform to the shape of the helmet. The first tier of the tehen-no-kanamono is of a openwork chrysanthemum flower and stem design while the other tiers simulate the chrysanthemum flowers. The protective metal visor (mabizashi) is attached to the helmet bowl with four large, flattened rivets, with a fifth rivet missing. Three of these rivets have chrysanthemum base washers. The visor is intricately decorated with a black and gold painted flower design, accented with intricate linear and flower etchings. A gold metal molding (fukurin) wraps around the rim of the visor. A large, decorative, orange bow (agemaki) is attached to a metal ring on the back plate of the helmet bowl. The intact helmet lining (ukebari) is made of orange cloth with a light brown and purple helmet cord attached.

A five lame, ko-manju style neck guard (shikoro) is attached to the helmet bowl with four rivets with chrysanthemum base washers. Each lame is coated with red lacquer formed into "false scales" (kiritsuke kozane) to give the appearance of individual scales. The lames are then painted gold over top the red lacquer. Lames are connected to one another with orange silk lacing in the kebiki-odoshi style. The bottom lame also showcases a row of tweed lacing above the bottom row of white lacing in a cross knot pattern. Two forward-facing wings (fukigaeshi) emerge from the top lame of the neck guard and both have been reattached with wire. An additional metal plate has been attached to the fukigaeshi, making them especially wide. The inner section is painted with red lacquer and lined with a gold molding like the one present around the visor. A single, metal, encircled orange blossom crest of the Fukamizo family is mounted on the right fukigaeshi only. The outer sections of the fukigaeshi are covered with gold leaf, as well as two series of tweed lacing and third line of white cross knot lacing.

Height 21 cm
Length 33 cm
Width 29 cm
Credit Line Purchased from G. T. Marsh and Co; subscription of Mrs. Phebe A. Hearst, 1897
Other Number 48 - Other Number | I:3 - Other Number | 393 - Other Number

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