Nagasone bachi kabuto

By Nagasone Okisato (Nyudo Kotetsu, c. 1605–1678)

Edo Period, 17th century
Signed “Bushu Edo ni oite kore o saku / Nagasone Okisato
於武州江戸作之・長曽祢奥里
 
The russet iron suji bachi (ridged bowl) of eight plates each overlaid with an iron shinodare and an iron igaki to the base above a roped rim. The mabezashi (visor) engraved with three invocations, with a distinct convex curve with roped iron fukurin and supporting an iron haridate. An elaborate five-stage pierced iron tehen no kanamono to the top.
 
The Nagasone family of armorers took their name from their home village, located in Ōmi province, in a strategic area both militarily, being close to Hikone Castle and Mount Sawa, and productively, since iron was being extracted from several mines in the area since ancient times. The Nagasone family relocated to the village of Fukui in the province of Echizen, possibly as a result of Ishida Mitusnari's defeat at Sekigahara. There, they set up a new workshop to produce armor and weaponry. It was here that Okisato started to create his own style and established the Nagasone School. In 1647, Okisato, who was already in his fifties, moved to Edo, the capital city, to work for the shogunate's military authority, the bakufu. After that, he progressively switched from producing armor and helmets, for which there was a rapidly diminishing market, to swords, which he signed under the name "Kotetsu" after taking Buddhist vows. It is reported that Okisato became a monk to atone for his sins after killing a customer who had complained about a sword he had ordered, forcing him to escape Fukui. Because of his abilities with ironworking, he was able to produce swords of exceptional quality, and he quickly rose to prominence as one of Japan's most well-known swordsmiths. 
 
The iron used to make Nagasone Okisato's helmets is well-forged, while the surface is almost rough. The forms are frequently bizarre, curved, and embellished with applied cut-out iron applications (kirigane) that are evocative of the work of the Haruta and Unkai schools.

Price: 20,000 €

Inventory Nr: 1866

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