there is a nice saiga kabuto on yahoo at the moment I would like to know what the forum members think about it. Indeed, a few details seems not right. some of the rivets look like not originals (maybe old repair?). The lacquer, or what is left of it looks almost like paint. The shikoro is in good condition compared with the boshi itself...
Yes I saw it also. The kabuto looks genuine but I agree regarding the rivets. The rust is a little redish so the laquer seems to be removed not to long ago. I think the shikoro is a later ad on. The price is already flying so it could end up high. If you look at the hambo, the area that lost it's laquer looks very new.,
Something bothers me. It begins with the irregularly distributed soft metal washers continued by the front and back plate (or top plate), because they seems not been placed in central axis. Hence the top plate appears displaced (you can notice that in the back view). I'm sure the hachi was once lacquered and the shikoro is a replacement. Which is not important. What do others think about the fastening of the prongs for wakidate?
thank you all for your input. It is very interesting.
Uwe, you are right, the top plate appears out of center. Also, do you think the wakidate prongs were added later?
Ian, do you think the bowl could have been brought back to Japan after Hideyoshi's Korean campaign, and then modified probably during edo to emulate the design of the Saiga armourers? If so, is this kabuto considered has a Saiga school one or just an old copy? (maybe because of fashion or the price it could bring at the time.)
The washers look 20th century to me, maybe a repair done around the thirties or after the war?
Dave, you mentioned the lacquer being of 2 different colors at the top and the bottom. Was it a common feature as I haven't seen many examples like that except some with the brow plate or the mabisashi being a different color. Or could it be that this bowl was relacquered several times?
Vincent, Quite a lot of Chinese and Korean helmets were brought back after the Korean campaigns - and the tsuba we call namban as well. These bowls have the plume-tube on top and usually a very narrow horizontal peak. They are often made from four plates joined together by overlaying strips with cusped edges, although one in the Royal Armouries has been made by raising it in one piece. If you look carefully at this, the metal of the brow-plate and koshimaki are different. That on the bowl is quite corroded and has the remains of black lacquer here and there. In fact it may have been in a fire. The brow-plate and koshimaki are a real quality pieces of work and have had the edges shaped to match the original joining strips of the bowl. The brass (?) washers had me puzzled, but in places you can see traces of where they have come off - I think they were under each rivet originally. As for the Saiga connection, I don't think there is one. Saiga bachi are either the ones with the big chrysanthemum plate on top or oki tenugui type. There are considerable numbers of 'namban hachi' which have never really been pinned down, but look as if they are copying this kind of thing - tall, pointed with overlaying strips with fancy shaped edges. Ian B
Theres black on top and red around the front plates, they have rusted differently which surjests that they were married together at some time. As for the contrast in colour we have a rule here on the forum, its rule number one: there are no rules.
Over the years you get to see just about everything
Something I have heard repeatedly (it may have no bearing here) is that some of the Saiga remained in the Korean Peninsula after Hideyoshi left, and the family name Saiga is still passed down in Korea today.
Be that as it may, I partly witnessed the transformation of a Saiga kabuto about eight or nine years ago, and was amazed at the jumps in price as it went from dealer to dealer and was finally bought by a proud new owner. I forget the details, but the lacquer was certainly stripped off and side wakidate prongs were added/subtracted (?) before final age/patina was added to produce fine russet metal.
Forgive me my long absence but I'm in the middle of my final tests on my current education.
I'm not sure whether anyone else noticed, but there was a second auction from the same seller.
As far as I can tell the parts offered in this second auction were matching to the shikoro and hanbou of the saiga kabuto. Also I think the refitting to the old saiga hachi might not necessarily have been made in modern times.
No matter when exactly the modification happened, the good thing is that the buyer of the kabuto/hanbou combination bought the rest of the armor as well.
To me this is always a great thing, because during the past years I've seen tons of armors broken apart and offered in individual auctions.
And to make things even nicer, this same weekend there was another complete set offered in individual auctions and one single buyer managed to buy all parts for a reasonable price. - A really rare occurrence.