16 September 2003
This lot is offered without a reserve
A Suit of Armor (Tosei Gusoku)
Edo period (17th century), the helmet with signature Soshu ju Hiroshige [Hiroshige of Soshu (Kazusa) Province]
The sixty-two plate suji bachi kabuto (helmet bowl with standing flanges) with a three-stage tehen kanamono (ornamental ring on the top) and trimmed on the peak and fukigaeshi (turnbacks) with metal edging carved with foliate scroll, the maedate (forecrest) gold lacquer modelled as stylized antlers, the fukigaeshi decorated with gold lacquer scrolling vines and flowers and the crest of the Okubo family, the helmet fitted with a five-lame hineno jikoro (neck guard) lacquered gold and closed-laced in blue, the bottom lame decorated with vines and flowers in gold lacquer, the hardware carved with chrysanthemums and patinated shakudo or gilded; the russet-lacquered tengu men (face mask designed as a mythical bird) with a detachable hook nose and forged with deep wrinkles on the cheeks and with flanges on the sides to protect the helmet cord, with silver-lacquered teeth, and moustache and chin tuft painted in silver lacquer, fitted with gold-lacquered five-lame solid-plate throat guard close-laced in blue, the bottom lame decorated with vines and flowers in gold lacquer on brown; the entire armor lacquered gold with a two-plate standing cuirass of kiritsuke iyozane (false scales with little overlap) with dark blue spaced lacing, the lower plates false lamellae with close-spaced blue lacing, the edges of the cuirass trimmed with metal edging carved with vines and fitted with seven-section kusazuri (tasses) of false lamellae and fitted on the back with a bracket for mounting a flag; chu-sode (shoulder guards) false lamellae closed-laced in blue; the sleeves, thigh guards and shin guards decorated to match; the cuirass, shoulder guards and sleeves applied with a gilt-metal crest of the Okubo family; with bearskin boots; karabitsu (wood storage box)
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
A paper accompanying this armor states that it was given to Kawamura Shobei Yoshitake, a retainer of the daimyo Kuroda Nagamasa (1568-1623), as a reward for excellent services in 1633.
This lot is offered without reserve.
The series of 15 sales was led by two exceptional predella panels by artist Giovanni di Paolo
A look back at the standout moments, extraordinary objects and storied collections offered at Christie’s this year