Post by Dave Thatcher on Dec 13, 2015 13:04:27 GMT
Currently on eBay Very rare Gold Zunari KABUTO authentic Japanese Edo Period Samurai Iron helmet
Signed with a Kabuto craftsman, 三国 (MIKUNI).
Samurai Family crest : Gosan KIRI
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What I can see is a kaga hachi, six ken thats been painted with gold paint. A mismatched shikoro. The reason I posted this was the gimei, its been scribed into mugi-urushi (rice flour mixed with ki urushi) a bit naughty.
This is the style of kabuto (one in my workshop) Its also the same as the one I recently restored.
Is it a fake? No, but it is not what it first appears to be.
The helmet bowl is from the kaga group of schools. This style of bowl was mass produced in the same way zunari were. The shikoro has been made for a different style of helmet, yet has been married to the hachi. You can see that's it's not the original neck guard namely for two reasons. 1. The upper lame is not in line with the koshimaki of the hachi. 2. The fukigashi overlap the mabezashi.
Now to the restoration, there is a new liner fitted, it's clumsy and made to a poor standard. The outer surface of the hachi has lost its lacqure ground layer, it's been painted over with gold paint and you can see the sruffing and forging marks. The tehen should be russet iron, a kaga feature, yet the gold paint brush has wandered over it too. Next up its the Mei, complete fakery here I'm afraid.
So we have a helmet being offered with delusions of being something else.
Dave, could you please elaborate a little on two points? 1. So far, I haven't gotten behind of how to tell that a shikoro does not match a kabuto. The only clue I can think of in this case is the top line of the koshimaki (at least I think that that's what it is) that is barely visible above the fukigaeshi and on the right of the mabezashi, in the second photo. This line seems to be at an angle with the top line of the shikoro - should they be parallel in a matching set...?
2. What gives the ukebari away as clumsily made? I've looked at the third photo for some minutes and finally decided that the spacing between the stitches seems to be irregular...
In this particular instance, you can see that the shikoro doesn't fit well because the top lame starts out below the ridge of the koshimaki (second picture, where the fukigaeshi transitions to the top lame) and in fact is too low at this point with there being a gap. As the top lame travels to the rear of the kabuto, it starts to actually go over the koshimaki ridgeline, covering it completely. An original or well-fitting shikoro would be tightly butted up against the ridgeline around the entire kabuto.
Post by Dave Thatcher on Dec 14, 2015 21:40:57 GMT
Christian, this forum is here to offer opinions and advice. You should always use it before buying an item of samurai armour, the members here will always help.
David, as John as said. Hachi are hand made, either by forging or hammering into shape. As they are not machine made they all have slight variances. The first lame of the shikoro (hachi tsuke no ita) is made to fit the curvature and pitch of koshimaki. This first lame usually has the fukigashi attached, so the custom fit will not intrude upon the mabezashi. If you carefully follow the upper line in the side-on photo you can see the top of the mabezashi is visible just behind the fukigashi, then as the line continues to the rear of the hachi the koshimaki is hidden underneath. This is because the hachi tsuke no ita was made for another helmet.
Shikoro get damage from dropping, they bend and often break, they also rust quickly due to water penetrating the odoshi-no-ana. So if you have a wrecked shikoro and a surrogate sitting about they get paired. Thats why we see these mis-matched attempts to pass off the whole thing as an item.
As to the ukebari, the stitching is awful, and they have just wrapped it around the koshimaki. Ukebari have a cosmetic band attached to conceal the cloth. I posted a guide on how to make a commercial version.katchu.co.uk/art-odoshi/浮張ukebari/
John, Dave, thank you for the detailed explanation! I'm glad I was on the right track with the shikoro alignment
I have seen the ukebari guide before, but wasn't able to judge from this photo here that the cosmetic leather band is missing... as to the stitching: I see how it's all over the place and not even straight in some places, but I doubt I could do much better if I tried - at least in the first attempt