• Arts of the Samurai  auction at Christies

    Sale 2378

    Arts of the Samurai

    23 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 73

    A Set of Horse armor (Bagai) with Mask (Bamen) Including Four Red-dyed Straw Sandals (Umawarage) and Tail Wrap (Abukura)

    EDO PERIOD (17TH-18TH CENTURY)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A Set of Horse armor (Bagai) with Mask (Bamen) Including Four Red-dyed Straw Sandals (Umawarage) and Tail Wrap (Abukura)
    Edo period (17th-18th century)
    The mask (chanfron) for a horse armor modeled as a dragon's head built up with lacquered and gilt papier mâché, the overall surface in black textured lacquer, lips, nostrils and other details lacquered red, the eyes inset, hair glued to the ears, cheek pieces hinged with leather; the mask 19in. (48.3cm) long

    The handsome pair of large flanchards (afuri) (photo, left), to protect the horse from the heavy iron stirrups, and smaller pair of hadatsuke and kiritsuke flaps, as well as the padded leather saddle cushion (basen) with leather straps for holding the stirrups all en suite painted, embossed and gilded with design of drum cores and drum heads, hinged with green silk tassels; the flanchards 21 x 26 1/2in. (53.3 x 67.3cm)

    The horse armor in two sections, one to protect the neck and shoulders (munegai), the other for the croup, flank and thighs (shirigai) (photo, right top), each section constructed of small rectangular pressed-leather pieces lacquered gold and stitched to a fabric backing and with diamond crest, perhaps kugi-nuki (nail-pulling) used by Uesugi Kenshin among others; pair of saddle flaps (aori) constructed of small rectangular pressed-leather pieces lacquered gold and stitched to a fabric backing, and with stenciled leather borders; four red-dyed straw sandals (umawarage) (photo, bottom); tail wrap (abukura) of chain mail wrapped in textile and with decorative brocade side pieces (photo, right bottom); with red silk strapping and reins and numerous red silk decorative tassels in various sizes and lengths


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    The set of armor is rare in its completeness, especially the straw sandals and tail wrap, and fine condition.