This rare Japanese helmet was excavated in Ise Province, Mie Prefrecture. The type of construction—horizontal rings to which rectangular scales are riveted—was probably importated from China or Korea. Most helmets of this type were made of iron, but some were made of gilt copper, probably for ceremonial display. This example is unusual because it combines both materials.
Excavated at Choja zuka, Sakume, Asami mura, inami gun, Ise provinceDr. Seki Yasunosuke, Japan (until 1927; his sale, Kyōto Bijutsu Kurabu, Kyōto, November 28, 1927, no. 19, to MMA).
Kyōto Bijutsu Kurabu. Seki Yasunosuke-Shi Shozōhin Nyūsatsu Mokuroku. Kyōto: Kyōto Bijutsu Kurabu, November 28, 1927. no. 19, ill.
Hoopes, Thomas T. "Recent Acquisitions of Japanese Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Studies 2, no. 2 (May 1930). pp. 221–23, n. 2, ill.
Suenaga, Masao. Nihon Jōdai No Katchū. Ōsaka-shi: Sogensha, 1944. pl. 7.
Okada, Yuzuru, and Tōkyō Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan. Pageant of Japanese Art: Ceramics and Metalwork from 551 (pre-Buddhist) to 1868 (Edo period). Vol. 4. Tokyo: Tōto Bunka, December 1952. pp. 39, 75, fig. 66.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "The New Galleries of Oriental Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16, no. 9 (May 1958). pp. 252–53, ill.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "The Japanese Armor Gallery in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Connoisseur 148 (September 1961). p. 12, ill.
Vianello, Gianni. Armi in Oriente. 1st ed. ed. Milan: Fratelli Fabbri Editori, 1966. pl. 48.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer, 1991). pp. 56, 64, ill.
Artist: Helmet bowl signed Saotome Iyetada (Japanese, Edo period, active early–mid-19th century)Date: 16th and 18th centuriesMedium: Iron, lacquer, silk, gilt copperAccession: 14.100.172On view in:Gallery 377