• Japanese & Korean Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 2296

    Japanese & Korean Art

    24 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 578

    A sixty-two-plate hoshi kabuto


    Price Realised  


    A sixty-two-plate hoshi kabuto
    Edo period (17th-18th century), signed Saotome Ietada
    A high-sided sixty-two-plate russet iron hoshi-bachi with twenty-five sharply pointed rivets to each plate, signed on the inside Saotome Ietada, six-piece tehen kanamono of various metals, seven-tiered Hineno-jikoro (neck guard) of black-lacquered shittsukezane with green sugake odoshi (spaced) lacing, the lower tier with variegated and orange hishinui (cross-knots), the Hineno fukigaeshi (turned-back portion of the shikoro) with applied opposed dragon copper alloy roundels, the mabizashi (brim) fixed with three gilt chrysanthemum-headed rivets, with stencilled leather, fukurin (edging) on mabizashi and fukigaeshi of shakudo nanako with engraved scrolling, with a maedate (forecrest) of a large and expressively well-carved gilt wood dragon with inset teeth and glass eyes

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    Saotome Ietada is a particularly respected name among the Saotome group of armorers. Although it is not known how many generations there were and how long into the Edo period the family continued, the Honcho Burin Genshi of Hinatsu Shigetaka (1727) records the known existence of five or six generations at that time.

    The sixty-two-plate helmet was devised during the late Muromachi period, and was a speciality of Ietada, who frequently used rows of twenty-five rivets as on this example.