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A Naruto-nari kabuto [wave-shaped helmet] and mempo [face mask] | Edo period, 18th century

The Charlier and Cortina Collection of Exotic Samurai Helmets and Armour

A Naruto-nari kabuto [wave-shaped helmet] and mempo [face mask] | Edo period, 18th century

A Naruto-nari kabuto [wave-shaped helmet] and mempo [face mask] | Edo period, 18th century

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The Charlier and Cortina Collection of Exotic Samurai Helmets and Armour

A Naruto-nari kabuto [wave-shaped helmet] and mempo [face mask]

Edo period, 18th century


the simulated russet iron (sabiji-nuri) bowl with lacquer wave-shaped (Naruto-nari) form to the apex, plain sabiji-nuri peak with hammered brow, small black lacquer turnbacks, the neck guard with spaced lacing (sugake odoshi) in dark blue braid, gilt forecrest (maedate) in the shape of two ferns, sabji-nuri face mask with fierce expression (ressei mempo), wrinkled face and open mouth, detachable nose-plate, wild boar moustache, silver lacquer teeth, red lacquer interior, three-tiered throat protector with close-spaced lacing (kebiki odoshi) in matching braid, accompanied with a plain wood stand as illustrated


The helmet when mounted on a stand: 54.5 cm., 21½ in. high (including fittings)

The helmet bowl with slight surface scratches and a small crack to the reverse of the central ridge, some old restoration, minor surface wear to the neck guard, the gilt underside of the neck guard with some wear to the edges, the maedate with restoration to the stems, overall worn with wear to the lacquer, the mask with slight wear to the nose and a small area lacking just under the mouth at the back of the chin.


Please note that Condition 12 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

The form of this unusually shaped helmet represents a rolling wave, with its stylised crest coiling in the violent motion caused by the vortex of a whirlpool in the Naruto strait. Formed in black lacquer, the shape draws the poetic imagination to the tempestuous waters situated between the provinces of Awa and Awaji infamous for its large whirlpools.


For a different example of a Naruto kawari kabuto, see L. John Anderson et al., Art of Armor: Samurai Armor From The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, (Connecticut, 2011), no. 13, pg. 144-45. 


For another seventeenth century example, see Jean-Christophe Charbonnier et al., Daimyo: Seigneurs de la guerre au Japon, (Paris, 2018), no. 40, pg. 90.