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Tower Of London Armour


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#1 John A Stuart

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:50 AM

My daughter took this pic today in the tower. We have talked about this present to James I before. John

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#2 FletchSan

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:02 AM

I'll be visiting there in 2 weeks. Tower of London is first on my list followed by the royal armouries in Leeds - can't wait ;)


Ben


#3 Greg F

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:30 AM

Ben there is some nice stuff at Victoria Albert museum in London (well there was 2 years ago when i was there) might be worth a look while in London.

John that is nice armour, thank you and your Daughter for sharing.

Greg

#4 FletchSan

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:55 AM

Thanks Greg. The Victoria Albert museum is just across from our hotel so will definately check that out as well.

 

cheers,

 

Ben


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#5 Greg F

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:59 AM

Would love to hear about it Ben. There was only one blade(Tachi) back then but plenty of nice Armour, Koshirae and Tsuba. Have a great time.

Greg

#6 AU60

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:21 AM

Interesting marudou. I suppose it was relaced recently?

#7 Geraint

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:39 PM

Ben,

 

If you have time the British Museum might also be worth a look and if your taste run to arms and armour in more general terms then the Wallace Collection, just a bit north of Oxford Street,  has a fabulous display.

You might also call in at Grays Antique Market and have a chat with Don Bayney.  (Worth contacting him beforehand to see if he will be there.)

 

Enjoy!

 

All the best.


Geraint

#8 Rich S

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:05 PM

Was in London many years ago and hit all three museums: V&A, Tower of London, British Museum - great places to see all sorts of antique weaponry.  Enjoy your visit.

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#9 FletchSan

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:06 PM

Thanks Geraint. British Museum is definately on the list and would love to visit the Wallace Collection time permitting.

Only in London 2 1/2 days unfortunately though 2 weeks in the UK. Although I'd be very happy to turn it into an antique arms & armour tour the rest of my family may have a say on the itinerary :)


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#10 IanB

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:38 PM

All, The armour in question was one of the two given to King James I (and VI) and brought back by Captain Saris together with a tachi, a saddle and stirrups and some screens. This particular armour was placed in the Tower of London, the other in various Royal palaces, The latter is now on display in Leeds and retains all the original textiles but has lost the kuwagata dai. This one spent a long time at the Tower being described as Indian (the armour of the 'Great Mogul') and suffered pretty badly. By the 1970's it had lost its sleeves and leg armour and the lacing was getting tatty. I have only ever seen B/W images of it at that stage and someone had mounted a pair of oda gote and an haidate with it that didn't belong.  As a result it was shipped to Japan for refurbishment and returned with a new kuwagata dai, and other helmet mounts as well as being completely relaced. Sadly it was a bit over-polished and lost most of the mon on the dou, but one survives on the side plate showing it was an armour belonging to a member of the Takeda family. It was far too small to have been Takeda Shingen's (he is portrayed as being rather corpulent) so it may well have belonged to his son -Takeda Katsuyori. 

Ian Bottomley


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#11 Greg F

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:45 AM

Great info Ian, thanks. Im kicking myself for not asking for travel advice here before my UK visit. It really would be worth spending as much time possible in London to enjoy the museums. I would of loved to get to the Leeds Armouries too. I hope you can share photos from your trip Ben. Safe travels.

Greg

#12 FletchSan

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:22 AM

Hi All,

 

Here are some pics from my recent visit to the UK from the Tower of London, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

Now you can all guess what each of these items are :)

 

cheers,

 

Ben

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#13 paulb

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:06 AM

Looks as though you had a realy good time and saw much the Armouries et al had on display. Recognised the Armouries ones especially the close up of the Kanemoto (hope thats what it is anyway) also the barber pole nagamaki and what could be the Unji nagamaiki naoshi. I am guessing the Gendaito on show at the tower is the one from Deryk Inghams collection.

The last three armours are from the eastern gallery in the Royal Armouries at Leeds.

 one that is missing is in the British Museum where they have a Shintogo Kunimitsu tanto (ex Compton collection) did you get to see that?

well done

Best Regards

Paul



#14 FletchSan

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:00 PM

Hi Paul. Yes the close up from the Leeds Armouries is the Kanemoto. I spent a great deal of time admiring it as I recently picked up a Kanemoto :) The Gassan gendaito is the Deryk Ingrams one.

Interestingly none of the Naginata were polished, including the one owned by the Queen. I asked about that and apparently the head curator thought they should be though it was contentious preserving them as is vs. restoring which was interesting given they were Japanese swords and restoring = preserving.

I looked through my photos and I think this may be the tanto you are referring to? (not a great pic)

cheers,

Ben

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#15 paulb

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:27 PM

Hi Ben

Yes I think thats the one.

I was looking at the Kanemoto earlier in the month during the study day we held at the Armouries. I particularly like the sugata whch I always found very impressive.

I once had this blade in my collection, it was one of a number that Deryk and I exchanged with each other over the years I knew him. I eventually swapped it for a Tadayoshi blade which I liked even more (unfortunately now gone to fund other later buys). It always feels a little strange to see pieces which once formed part of your own collection sitting behind display cabinet glass in  museum.

The debate regarding restoration vs conservation is ongoing and far from limited to our field. Personally I feel that polishing has always been part of the life cycle of a blade. It also illustrates the workmanship and skill of the smith making viewing a far more valuable experience. I think  It fits more in to preservation and conservation than restoration. But as said this is a personal opinion and I am sure others have a different, equally valid, view.

The British Museum had a large number of swords repolished some years ago and I think there is little doubt it benefited the collection considerably.

I am glad you enjoyed your time here, you certainly seemed to make the most of it. Should you be over again let me know and we can see if we could get together for a sword day



#16 IanB

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:12 AM

Ben,  There factors concerning the condition of the naginata at Leeds, and quite a few other fine blades in store. Firstly since its arrival in the country in the 19th century until 1995, it was housed in the Tower of London without a saya ( its pair belongs to the Victoria & Albert Museum and that too has no saya as have most of the yari given at the same time). The Tower may seem to be a glamorous location for the display of arms and armour, but a 950 year old castle is not exactly the easiest place in which to maintain a stable environment, especially one washed by the Thames. I have to say that ideal storage conditions are now being met, but the damage has already been done. Another factor is money. Our present government are passionate about austerity and polishing a naginata is not exactly high on their priority list when it comes to spending public money. The British Museum was fortunate in obtaining generous sponsors. It may be possible to raise money in the future and since the various blades are now stable, we must wait and see. Working on a museum teaches you to accept that you cannot do everything and that future generations may well achieve what you cannot.

Ian Bottomley



#17 FletchSan

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:43 AM

Facinating - appreciate the detailed response Ian. My wife is a curator so certainly understand the challenges around public funding and of conservation. I loved my time at the Royal Armouries and have always wanted to visit. I could have spent days there if allowed :)

If I get a chance to visit again Paul I'll certainly take you up on a sword catch-up !

Ben





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