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Peter Bleed

Please advise me about this kabuto

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Dear NMB Friends,

I am writing to the NMB for expert advice and counsel. Please tell me what I should do with a kabuto I have owned for years and sort of ignored. It is an early post-War bring back that came to me as a rather delicate basket case. I think it is time for me to either 1) attend to it, or 2) find it a new home. It is a 41 plate kabuto with an intact ukebari (liner) so I don’t know if it is signed or not. The shikoro is detached but all there. Likewise, the maedate and mempo are there but in pieces.

kabuto.jpg

shigoro.jpg

mempo.jpg

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Hi Peter,

 

very nice! First glance, early hachi remounted in Edo/Meiji, IMHO.

Sry, off for work....

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I agree with Uwe, the Hachi looks like it could have some age. Could we please get some images of the front, rear and underside of the Hachi/kabuto and the inside of the Menpo?

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The size of the tehen no ana is important here, since it could be a muromachi hachi.

if you can take a picture fron the inside, the tehen section, it would be helpfull.

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At some point "sword" collecting will become familiar and easy, but basically it still is one learning curve after another.1462724244_mempointerior.thumb.jpg.3e79f6aad3a4659f71e3eee38441a835.jpg

No one ever taught me how to photograph the inside of a mempo

 

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Since I've got you helping me with one helmet, please let me me show another. I am NOT an armor collector, but we tend to end up with stuff. I paid a fair amount a couple years back to have some work done on this kabuto. Truth to tell, I'm  not sure I feel like it was a satisfying investment.

Peter663494939_otherhelmet.thumb.jpg.4f5da85d4c29b5db418f982f4043f013.jpg

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At least you got the inside of the menpō Peter, even if nobody taught you ;-)

 

All of your three items are in need of a little touch up but probably worth the expense.

The first kabuto dates most likely back to the Muromachi period , as Luc indicates and Thomas supposed. In terms of the shape, the hachi could be a “Haruta” work. 
The second one seems to be from a “Myōchin” workshop, probably early Edo. I can understand your reservations about the work....

Last but not least the mask. I dare a guess towards mid/late Edo “Myōchin”, but I’m not sure. Dating is very tricky some times, as is the assignment to a particular school.

 

It’s late today, so I will have a closer look tomorrow.....

 

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Thanks Uwe! You offer  very useful insights! I am very concerned that the lacquer on the shikoro looks very fragile. Is there any hope???

Peter

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Peter,

I think you kabuto is much older than expected. do you have a picture form inside?

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On 1/18/2021 at 5:55 PM, uwe said:

At least you got the inside of the menpō Peter, even if nobody taught you ;-)

 

All of your three items are in need of a little touch up but probably worth the expense.

The first kabuto dates most likely back to the Muromachi period , as Luc indicates and Thomas supposed. In terms of the shape, the hachi could be a “Haruta” work. 
The second one seems to be from a “Myōchin” workshop, probably early Edo. I can understand your reservations about the work....

Last but not least the mask. I dare a guess towards mid/late Edo “Myōchin”, but I’m not sure. Dating is very tricky some times, as is the assignment to a particular school.

 

It’s late today, so I will have a closer look tomorrow.....

 

 

Unlikely it is Myochin. I was the one who re-laced it years ago. It came with the shikoro in tatters and badly bent, and the task was to reattach it all and try to keep it together without making it worse. The color was selected to hide the damage.  The hachi is nice, but not Myochin nice, it is unsigned. The shikoro is in very bad shape and trying to straighten it would have fractured it, but the cost to repair and or replace was prohibitive at the time. The quote we had to replace the Shikoro was 5x the estimated value of the bowl. This was a consolidate and "display" vs a restoration.

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19 minutes ago, Justin Grant said:

 

Unlikely it is Myochin. I was the one who re-laced it years ago. It came with the shikoro in tatters and badly bent, and the task was to reattach it all and try to keep it together without making it worse. The color was selected to hide the damage.  The hachi is nice, but not Myochin nice, it is unsigned. The shikoro is in very bad shape and trying to straighten it would have fractured it, but the cost to repair and or replace was prohibitive at the time. The quote we had to replace the Shikoro was 5x the estimated value of the bowl. This was a consolidate and "display" vs a restoration.

Hello J.D. Justin,   Why do you think it’s not Myochin?  (The okenari)

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It was posted on here years ago, and I'd have to go look, but it was decided it lacked certain features. I have pics if the inside and outside if it helps. I liked it, personally, and offered to buy it, but don't believe it had the qualities of a myochin. But as a lawyer, I never say anything definitive! LOL

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4 minutes ago, Justin Grant said:

It was posted on here years ago, and I'd have to go look, but it was decided it lacked certain features. I have pics if the inside and outside if it helps. I liked it, personally, and offered to buy it, but don't believe it had the qualities of a myochin. But as a lawyer, I never say anything definitive! LOL

You are a wise man 😉

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39 minutes ago, Justin Grant said:

It was posted on here years ago, and I'd have to go look, but it was decided it lacked certain features. I have pics if the inside and outside if it helps. I liked it, personally, and offered to buy it, but don't believe it had the qualities of a myochin. But as a lawyer, I never say anything definitive! LOL


Hi Justin!
I would be interested in these pictures, if you don’t mind...?!

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I'm not feeling very well cared for the NMB. This is MY (!) kabuto. I started this discussion. I asked for the help and advice of this community. I mentioned no names but I asked - with full respect - the wisdom of this community.

My assessment is that the NMB is a good place to go to if you are at a pawn shop and need help weeding out modern Chinese fakes.

Peter

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I need good pictures to help with a sufficient answer Peter.    It is a illusion to think that everything is visible from the outside.

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7 hours ago, Peter Bleed said:

I would like to provide you with "a good picture", but this is what I can share. 

I do not dare to suggest a window in the ukebari, a door maybe?   :-)

:laughing:

no serious.   From what I can see, i date this hachi early 15th century

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10 hours ago, Peter Bleed said:

I'm not feeling very well cared for the NMB. This is MY (!) kabuto. I started this discussion. I asked for the help and advice of this community. I mentioned no names but I asked - with full respect - the wisdom of this community.

My assessment is that the NMB is a good place to go to if you are at a pawn shop and need help weeding out modern Chinese fakes.

Peter

 

Sorry if I caused that feeling Peter! I merly have tried to get as much information as possible, in order to underpin a statement (or supposition)...

 

However, I agree with Luc when it comes to your first kabuto!

The second one is mor complicatet. The "Myôchin idea" (just a thought mind you), was based on the mabizashi and the shape (okenari) of the bowl. From the picture you provided, the mabizashi  seems to be of the "koma no tsume" (hoof shaped) type, often seen on Myôchin helmets. The hachi, on the other hand, shows similaritys with works of  "Munemasa"/"Katsumasa" (allegdely Masuda Myôchin) or late Edo "Yasukiyo". Though also "Yoshitsuna" made at least one helmet close to that shape, i.e. exaggerated heichozan. Of course Justin, it depends on the quality (can't say much from one pic!), independent (unknown) armor makers can not be ruled out.

 

So....who knows...?!

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I agree with you Uwe.  The okenari has a lot of features that point to a Tohoku or Odawara kabuto.   It is possibly older than edo, but again, I can't see this with only this pictures.   Myochin?  possibly, but it could be pre Myochin too.    It is certainly no Haruta, Bamen, Saotome or Nagasone.

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Hi Peter.   Just a commenting on your specific questions about what you should do with your kabuto and menpo (A).   It is an expensive resto if you went down that path and there are two distinct camps, those who believe in leaving such things alone and those who believe in restoration.  I am in the later camp.  Having said that it is an expensive path and unless you are really focused on armour a difficult path.   You have been given a couple of opinions on age etc so I won’t comment on that.   There would be a number of people interested in acquiring the set but price is subjective.   I like it.  41 plates is an unusual number but I do see a split in one of the plates.

 

The armour market is fairly strong these days.

 

i have attached a catalog which arrived today from a major Japanese dealer.  You can see the first item/set in the catalog is a little similar in style to yours but it is signed and nice condition.  I am not comparing age etc and talking generally 

 

If you want to move it on put if up for offers in the sale section here and see how you go.   I know Brian likes to know an asking price but in this case, due to not being nihonto or kodogu he may make an exception.

 

nice to see pieces out there.   Here is the catalog.   Regards Mark


ps..for the armour critics out there.  Before I get howled down for some reason I am just keeping this very general for Peter.   

 

Microsoft Word - カタログ333最終.pdf

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about the okenari.

I bought this okenari a few weeks ago, it is signed 'Joshu ju Narishige saku'.

The Joshu smiths are wanted by collectors nowadays, but they are scarce.

Do you see the resemblance? 

Schermafbeelding 2021-01-26 200843.png

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Peter, if you are reading this thread what would you like to know?   Summary.  Kabuto A.  Nice enough, desirable helmet bowl maybe dating to muromachi period.   Not sure if the shikoro are from the same period.  These were changed at times.   Inside construction is important for obtaining more accurate info.  You can insert an endoscope through the tehen (hole at the top) and have a look around and take still shots.   My guess, based on just what we are seeing, and it is just my opinion, the helmet as it sits would be about $3000 to 3500usd.

 

kabuto B.  A fairly common looking kabuto in ok condition and all together.   More around $2 to $2500 range.

 

menpo.   Nice enough but again condition is an issue.  That condition in need of resto I would think $1500+

 

these are just my basic guesstimates.   I am not a dealer.   I am just trying to put it all into perspective so you can decide what you want to do.   If you don’t want to sink money into restoration you could sell kabuto A and the menpo.  Keep the other as a display piece.

 

the last option I can think of is to reattach the shikoro to the kabuto A as best you can and just leave it on a stand.  Enjoy if for what it is.

 

The prices ai quoted are just a guess, people who disagree don’t shout me down..just trying to help

 

 

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