The Italian cabasset-type helmet was imported into Japan in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century when such Nanban ("southern barbarian," or foreign) pieces were fashionable among the high-ranking samurai. It is decorated with four panels etched and carved with Renaissance motifs and shows a man mounted on a stag about to trample a prostrate winged angel. The bowl has red and black lacquered-iron fittings to take a Japanese neck-guard, showing how in Japan such helmets were worn back-to-front so that the original brass Italian plume holder could serve as a Japanese maedate (forecrest) holder. The front part is made as a peak with embossed eyebrows. Two brackets have also been fitted at the sides to accommodate Japanese wakidate (side-crests). This helmet has, in addition, a gilt-rimmed inome ("boar's eye" piercing) at the back to accommodate a hair plume copying the European fashion.
A similar Nanban helmet exhibited in "Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156--1868," The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 21 October 2009--10 January 2010, was once owned by the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and is lent by the Toshogu Shrine at Nikko, which is dedicated to him.