Sasama says that after the long Edo period of more decorative helmets, they began to become less decorative and more functional heading onto the battlefields of the Bakumatsu.
This helmet may be from the latter period. (?) Tetsuji nuri on iron, 15 Ken plates with 73 (brass?) hoshi/boshi. Small Tehen/Hachimanza and Agemaki-no-Kan. Red urushi inside, cracked along vertical plate lines; four iron eyes in the Shiten-no-Byo positions for cushion attachment. The eyes seem to be anchored under four of the hoshi on the outer surface. The six Matsukawabishi Mon may be connected to a branch of the Ogasawara Clan.(?)
Quite heavy on the neck, so hesitating about wearing it for the next reenactment.
A very nice item Piers. I have a couple of iron jingasa, my favourite being of mushroom shape like a farmer's rush hat and black lacquered with an applied mon in kondo. Inside there is an iron ring to which is sewn a small ukebari rather than the usual pads. Your's is much more overtly of a helmet form which makes me think it was for a member of a bakamatsu military unit rather than just for travelling. Ian B