The Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armour

The Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armour

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 8. A suji-bachi [helmet with raised ridges] and mempo [face mask] | The helmet signed Saotome Ietsugu The mempo signed Neo Masanobu | Edo period, 17th century.

The Property of a European Collector

A suji-bachi [helmet with raised ridges] and mempo [face mask] | The helmet signed Saotome Ietsugu The mempo signed Neo Masanobu | Edo period, 17th century

Lot Closed

May 10, 02:08 PM GMT

Estimate

30,000 - 40,000 GBP

Lot Details

Description

The Property of a European Collector

A suji-bachi [helmet with raised ridges] and mempo [face mask]

The helmet signed Saotome Ietsugu The mempo signed Neo Masanobu

Edo period, 17th century 


the sixty-two plate russet iron bowl with raised ridges, terminating in a three-stage tehen kanamono of typical chrysanthemum form, russet iron mabisashi [peak], shakudo fukurin, the large fukigaeshi [turnbacks] in stenciled linen and leather applied in copper with nanatsu boshi mon [Seven Luminaries crests], three-tiered black lacquer itamono manju-jikoro [rounded neck guard with solid plates] in kebiki odoshi [close-spaced lacing] in dark blue braid, the gold, black and red lacquered maedate [forecrest] in the form of a shakuchiho [tiger and fish chimera], large gold lacquered kuwagata wakidate [lateral crests in the form of stylised horns], russet iron ressei mempo [face mask with fierce expression] forged with deep wrinkles, flared nostrils and open mouth, detachable nose plate, inlaid silver moustache, red lacquer interior, four-tiered yodaregake [throat protector] with sugake odoshi [spaced-lacing] in blue braid, this lot is sold with a wood helmet stand as illustrated


The bowl to peak: 29 cm., 11⅜ in. 

The shikoro to peak: 38.5 cm., 15⅛ in. 

The mempo: 16 cm., 6¼ in.

There are two armourers known to have signed their work Saotome Ietsugu, both of which lived in Hitachi province, also known as Joshu. One was active during the late Muromachi period, the other during the mid-Edo period. The latter was the tenth Saotome master and is most likely the smith of this helmet. 


For another example of a helmet by this smith, see Ian Bottomley, Japanese Armor: The Galeno Collection, (Berkeley, 1998), pg. 140.