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Suit of armour

Suit of armour

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1741 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Haruta Tamba (maker)

  • Museum number:

    M.979:1-1928

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This suit of armour is made of iron, the copper-gold alloy shakudo, the copper-silver alloy shibuichi, stencilled leather and bear fur. It was mounted and decorated in 1741 by the armourer Haruta Tamba for the head of the Akita family, who were feudal landlords, or daimyo, of the fief of Miharu in Mitsu province, northern Japan. The helmet-bowl was certified in 1675 by Myochin Kunimichi as the work of his mythical predecessor Munesuke but it was probably made by Kunimichi himself.

The armour is mostly tailored in the do-maru style, with the body armour in a single piece fastening at the right, seven small tassets and comparatively little stencilled decoration, but the large shoulder guards and the two elaborate protections for the shoulder-straps are more characteristic of the oyoroi style.

The forecrest, in copper-gilt, represents the chief heraldic badge (jomon) of the Akita family, a court lady's fan charged with two crossed tail feathers of the hawk. This is repeated in miniature on many other parts of the suit in conjunction with finely modelled metal mounts, mostly of peony design in shakudo. The secondary badge of the Akita, a lion and peony medallion, appears in shibuichi on the helmet wings, on the upper plate of each pauldron and on each hand guard.

Physical description

Suit of armour in domaru style, iron, gilded metal, shibuichi, shakudo, stencilled leather and bear-fur

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Date

1741 (made)

Artist/maker

Haruta Tamba (maker)

Marks and inscriptions

Forecrest in gilded copper representing main badge of Akita family, a fan and two crossed tail feathers of the hawk; secondary badge of lion and peony medallion also features.

Object history note

Mounted and decorated in 1741 by Haruta Tamba for the head of the Akita family, regional feudal rulers of Miharu in Mutsu province, Northern Japan

Descriptive line

Suit of armour in domaru style, iron, gilded metal, shibuichi, shakudo, stencilled leather and bear-fur, mounted and decorated in 1741 by Haruta Tamba for the head of the Akita family, regional feudal rulers of Miharu in Mutsu province, Northern Japan

Production Note

Assembled (mounted and decorated)

Materials

Iron; Gilded metal; Copper; Gold; Silver; Leather; Fur (bear)

Collection

East Asia Collection

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