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April 23, 2010

Samurai Suit

2mia1211  

The early 17th-century suit  pictured above and below, in near mint condition, was recently acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts  at a Christie's auction for $602,500.

Wertyu565  

It occupies pride of place in the lobby of the museum, whose curator of Japanese and Korean art, Matthew Welch, had been looking for a prime specimen of this genre for close to two decades before he spotted this one.

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"The acorn-shaped helmet, of a type known as shiinari, is made of 124 crimps of bronze and leather, instead of the standard 24 or 36; painted tortoises, phoenixes and dragons [adorn] medallions fastened on the front and back; and the flexible plates of the skirts and sleeves [are] made of bronze and leather and hidden by silk ties."

The gold praying mantis on the front of the helmet symbolizes ferocity.

April 23, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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