A Kawari kabuto [unusually shaped helmet] | Edo period, 17th century
A Kawari kabuto [unusually shaped helmet]
Edo period, 17th century
the lacquered iron helmet in the form of a Dutch puritan steeple hat, comprising of four plates, with a lacquered iron fukurin with raised rivets, the shikoro [neckguard] of five tiers with spaced lacing
The bowl to peak: 28 cm., 11 in.
The shikoro to peak: 34.5 cm., 13⅝ in.
The helmet with some light surface marks overall, with rubbing and cracking to the lacquer. The turnbacks with chips and losses to the lacquer revealing the iron beneath, and rubbing to gilt.
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This kawari kabuto appears to be in the form of a Dutch puritan steeple hat worn in the Netherlands during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With the introduction of muskets in Japan at the time, armourers embraced European military style, making helmet bowls of fewer more thickly cut steel plates riveted together. Momonari kabuto (Lot 11) influenced by the Spanish morion helmet may also have been part of this trend, and European civic fashions arguably provided influence on these newly adopted forms of armour making.
For an example of a puritan steeple hat in a painting by Gerard ter Borch in the collection of the National Gallery, London, inventory number NG1399, go to: