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Opinion On A Possible Armor Acquisition


Sly
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Hi all.

 

A french dealer of Japanese armors I do well know proposed me this week a price on a new armor he got.

He told me that this armor is from mid-edo, genuine as a whole set (not reconstructed from miscelaneous parts of other armors). Although the maedate is a modern work, the rest of the work seems good to me. His price is 7500 € for this armor.

 

Is it a fair price ?

 

I don't know much about Japanese armors, but it seems ok to me.

 

 

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Hi all.

 

A french dealer of Japanese armors I do well know proposed me this week a price on a new armor he got.

He told me that this armor is from mid-edo, genuine as a whole set (not reconstructed from miscelaneous parts of other armors). Although the maedate is a modern work, the rest of the work seems good to me. His price is 7500 € for this armor.

 

Is it a fair price ?

 

I don't know much about Japanese armors, but it seems ok to me.

Good idea asking before buying. More detailed images would be necessary in order to give an informed opinion and what was the sellers full description.
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I don't have any much detailed description by my side, I have to ask him. Same thing about the pictures, except this one. I saw the armor in his house where I was invited. As it was not officially available at that time, there was no written decription. Without that, could you give me a first impression ?

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Very good idea Sylvain to ask before buying. Price is only a component, taking into account that you buy it in France so no other fees as transportation, insurance..

 

Apart the fact that the maedate is modern and that the armour has been restored, I cannot say anything more.

 

The obvious first question to be answered is : is this armour homogenous or composite?

 

BTW, I don’t know anything about armour :)

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"Munatori Yokohagi Nimai Do Gusoku". Probably mid Edo. As Jean already mentioned, partly restored (relaced at a few places). Price is really fair! Hard to tell if it's a matching set ("true gusoku") without hands on?! From the pics, I would tend to say not composit.....

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Jean, Believe me, Judging armour is a lot easier than swords and there are far less outright fakes.

 

Do not get hung up on the idea of an armour having to be 'homogeneous' either. Many armours are assemblages of old and new components that may or may not have been lacquered and laced to match. Nobody threw away a perfectly good helmet bowl or a well-made dou, they were simply incorporated into another armour in the same way that a good tsuba or other fittings were used and re-used. If a sword come up for sale you judge the assembly on how the elements compliment each other, not on whether the person who made the tsuba also made the fuchi / gashira. Very few armours were entirely the product of one workshop as so many components were produced by specialists who supplied the trade with ready-made items. Identical masks, sleeves and other elements turn up time and time again that show many armourers must have been more assemblers of components than actual makers - although they may have made the major elements.  

 

Like swords that needed refurbishing from time to time, armours also needed servicing if they were being worn regularly. They became dirty and splashed with mud, the lacing became snagged and broken and the lacquer chipped and scratched. They then went back to an armourer to be repaired and may well have had new elements incorporated whilst being serviced. At best an armour today is in the state it was in when the Haitorei Edict came into effect. Even then, Japanese curio dealers were putting together 'sets' from elements they acquired to sell off to the tourists.

 

As Uwe says the armour looks harmonious and the elements compliment each other - so if you like it that is all that matters. 

 

Ian Bottomley

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Thanks a lot for all your comments gentlemen ! :)

 

I can see more clearly now where I go. So, as a consequence, I would say it's a "go" (or green light, Jean, if you prefer :glee: ). Once again, NMB saved my day (and my fundings probably).

 

There's only one issue to solve now : how to tell my wife ? :laughing: 

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