The Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armour

The Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armour

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 22. A fine Nimai-do gusoku [armour] | Edo period, late 17th century.

The Property of a European Collector

A fine Nimai-do gusoku [armour] | Edo period, late 17th century

Lot Closed

May 11, 02:27 PM GMT


80,000 - 100,000 GBP

Lot Details


The Property of a European Collector

A fine Nimai-do gusoku [armour]

Edo period, late 17th century 

The suji-bachi kabuto of sixty-two plates with raised ridges, copper-gilt four-stage tehen kanamono, the mabisashi [peak] and fukigaeshi [turnbacks] decorated with stenciled Dutch leather of lions among flowers and vine, the four tiered shikoro of black lacquer and with orange keboki odoshi [close-spaced lacing], the gold lacquer wood maedate in the form of stylised stag antlers, the lacquered iron mempo with mouth agape and detachable nose plate, broad yak bristle moustache and chin tuft, copper-gilt teeth, red lacquer interior, three-tier yodare-gake [throat protector], with nodowa [throat guard] embellished with mon [crests], the do [cuirass] comprising of heavy iron kiritsuke-kozane [false lamellae] with black lacquer plates, the closely spaced orange braid matching all other components, decorated throughout with gilded ogimon [hand fan crests] and nanatsu boshi mon [Seven Luminaries crest], broad seven-tiered sode [shoulder guards], the kote [sleeves] weaved in a dense chirimen gusari [European-style chainmail], six tassets of five-tiered kusazuri [skirt], the lining of the decorated with bands of rippling water, the sunaete decorated in copper-gilt with butterflies and further nanatsu boshi mon, with armour box

Yoshino Tatsuo Collection, Chiba.  
Suzuki Tomonari, Armes et Armures du Japon ancien, (Paris, 1979). 

Kyoto Arashiyama Bijutsukan, Tetsu to urushi no geijutsu: Kyoto Arashiyama Bijutsukan zohinshu, (Kyoto, 1986).

Guiseppe Piva, Samurai: Opere della Collezione Koelliker e delle Raccolte Extraeuropee del Castello Sforzesco, (Milan, 2009), no. 6, pg. 49.

The fan-shaped crest (ogi mon) prominently decorated throughout the armour is associated with the Satake clan, daimyo heralding from Hitachi Province, but later based in the Kubota Domain during the Edo period when this armour was made. The Seven Luminaries crest (nanatsu boshi mon) also features on this armour suit, alluding to that of the Wada clan who administered part of the Satake’s territories. With the two crests equally present, it is possible that the armour was worn by a member of the Satake who was later adopted by the Wada, a common practice among daimyo families when the practical necessity arose.