A Ryoei ryubu-style mempo [face mask] | Edo period, 17th century
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The Charlier and Cortina Collection of Exotic Samurai Helmets and Armour
A Ryoei ryubu-style mempo [face mask]
Edo period, 17th century
the russet iron mempo forged of a single iron plate, formed in ryubu-style with noble expression and unwrinkled face, standing flanges (yadome) to the cheeks, red lacquer interior, throat protector in linked chainmail weave, Chinese silk brocade lining, accompanied by a black metal stand as illustrated
18.2 cm., 7¼ in. wide
Overall the mask has some surface rust and pitting to the iron, the nose has a small damage and the red lacquer to the edges is worn, the red lacquer to the interior with some vertical cracking and patching to the nose and 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.
For a different example of a face mask forged in a single iron piece attributed to Myochin Ryoie, see Ian Bottomley, Japanese Armor: The Galeno Collection, (Berkeley, 1998), p. 165. In the text, Bottomely comments that face masks 'forged in one piece are of great rarity. Sakakibara Kozan in his book Chukokatchu Seisakuben, published in Edo in 1800, comments that masks of this type were first made by Myochin Ryoei in the late seventeeth century and, while acknowledging the skill involved, dismissed them as being impractical.'