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This black lacquered helmet bowl of 62 plates is rather rounded in plan and slightly high at the rear, a shape called goshozan by the Japanese. Each plate is riveted to its neighbour with 33 rivets having prominent, rather pointed heads that decrease in size towards the apex; a total of 5940 rivets. Helmet bowls of this type are referred to as ko-boshi bachi, or ‘small rivet bowls’. Around the base of the bowl is a vertical plate called the koshimaki pierced with holes for the attachment of a close fitting neck-guard or shikoro. The pairs of smaller holes around the lower edge are for sewing in a helmet lining. In front is a black lacquered peak edged by a gilt rim above which is a fitting for the attachment of a crest, the tsunamoto. On its underside, the peak is lacquered red and fitted with a subsidiary plate, pierced for attaching the lining. At the apex of the bowl is a copper gilt tehen kanamono of chrysanthemum pattern.
|Location of Origin: Japan|
|Dimensions: Height: 17 x Width: 22 x Depth: 30 cm / 7 x 8.7 x 11.8 in|
|Primary Classification: Antique guns, Antique Swords for Sale : Armour for Sale|
|Secondary Classification: Asian Art : Other|
|Ko-boshi helmets were first produced during the 16th century, continuing to be made until the 19th century. Among the earliest are one by Yasushige of Kozuke province dated 1571 and another by Narikuni of the same province presented to Torii Mototada in 1582. They soon gained the nickname daikon oroshi or ‘radish graters’. This example is unsigned but has some features, which suggest it may be the work of a smith called Nagamichi, or possibly one of his pupils. Little is known about Nagamichi but he is thought to have worked during the early Edo period. A helmet signed by Nagamichi forms part of an armour in a private collection and shows some similarities with this one. The shape is similar, as is the number of rivets in each column; the signed helmet having 31 rivets in each column as opposed to 33 here. Both helmets have a column of rivets down the centre of the front plate. Neither helmet has an internal washer trapping the top of the front plate in position. This latter feature was used by two other groups making ko-boshi helmets around this time; the Saotome and the Neo schools. This washer was used because there was insufficient width to use regular rivets through holes on either side of the top of the front plate. Instead a single rivet passed through a washer that gripped the edges of the plates on either side. The Saotome group also used a double front plate to maintain the thickness, a feature not present here. The only major difference between this bowl and the signed Nagamichi is that the latter does not have the internal bridging plate under the peak.|
|Price:||Item has been sold.|
|Offered By:||Items may still be available - Please contact The Curator's Eye for more information|
121 Mount Vernon, Boston, MA 02108 USA
Item has been sold.
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