Item ref: 3739
Private collection, Japan
Private collection, Belgium
The sixty plate helmet (hoshi kabuto) is signed Jōshū ju Saotome Ietada 常州住早乙女家忠
A folded three character mon (orishimani sanmon ji 折敷に三文字) of the Inaba family features on the turn-backs, crest holder and on all the decorative fittings (kanemono) of the armour.
This armour, made for a noble (daimyo) towards the end of the Edō period, incorporates an important early helmet skull (hoshi kabuto), signed Jōshū ju Saotome Ietada or 常州住早乙女家忠, by one of the most important early masters of the Saotome family, working in modern Hitachi province. The quality of the armour and the family mon of the Inaba family indicates that it was assembled in the late Edō period for an important daimyo, possibly Inaba Masami 稲葉 正巳1815–79, head of the Tateyama Inaba clan and admiral of the Tokugawa navy.