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Early Ko-boshi Suji-Kabuto

Heichōzan ko-boshi suji-kabuto (平頂山小星筋兜).  The heichōzan-bachi (high-sided, flat-topped helmet bowl) is composed of 62 plates, with small standing rivets (ko-boshi) in 63 rows of 29 rivets, for a total of 1,827 rivets.  The bowl is unsigned, and there has not been any clear alteration, outside of the typical adjustment of the koshimaki (腰巻) to a later shikoro (錣).  The tehen-no-kanamono (天辺の金物) and mabizashi (眉庇) with fukurin (覆輪) are original.  They are both yamagane (山銅) and ornamented with karakusa motif (唐草図柄) on a nanako background (魚子地), as commonly seen on contemporary tōsōgu.  The tsunomoto (角本) is affixed to the mabizashi, and seems original, with no evidence of remounting. The iron quality of the hachi is excellent, and this is most clearly seen on the mabizashi, where numerous very fine granular tekkotsu (鉄骨) cover the iron surface - another feature in common with iron tsuba of the period. 

The 5-plate shikoro and fukigaeshi are a later addition, likely Momoyama to early Edo in age.  The shikoro is russet-colored lacquer outside and black on the underside, and has experienced some age-related lacquer loss. The red silk lacing is original, and has commensurate fraying and deterioration for its age, but is still holding the plates together solidly. 

Overall, this is a very well preserved early hachi, likely of Myōchin (明珍) manufacture. This is for a serious collection, and will give the owner years of enjoyment, as it has given me.

Muromachi Period (室町時代), ca. 1530's


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Joshu Myochin Suji Kabuto Inside Detail_small_940px

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