Rare Saika Samurai Kabuto
Muromachi-Momoyama period (late 16th century)
Constructed of six plates with scalloped edges riveted together and finished with large standing rivets with floret bosses arranged in vertical rows and in one row encircling the crown, and another around the bottom of the helmet, the top of the bowl mounted with a large four-stage chrysanthemum tehen kanamono, the iron surface with fine file marks and flush inlaid with swirling dragons in silver and gold, each plate also applied with a cherry floret, the mabisashi hammered with prominent eyebrows and decorated with scrolling vines in fine silver flush inlays, the bowl fitted with a five-lame solid russet-iron shikoro with scalloped edges and close-laced in green, the lowest lame pierced at the corners with inoshishime and decorated with three dragons in silver flush inlays, the top lame terminating in "shogi game piece"-fukigaeshi with raised rim and pierced with Sanskrit characters
With Tokubetsu Kicho certificate issued by the Nihon Bugu Katchu Kenkyu Hozan Kai (Society for the preservation of Japanese armor) no. 1042, dated 2007.11.8
Armor produced by the smiths from the area of Saika in Kii province (modern Wakayama) were distinctive in that they featured a set of prominent chrysanthemum rings set around the tehen, strong standing rivets and embossed eyebrows. Legend has it that they were inspired by the discovery of an ancient iron helmet that had washed up on the shores of the province in the 15th century.