Seconda half of Edo period (1615-1868), 19th century
This samurai armor, on its helm and liner, exhibits a mokko-type family crest in an original variation. It has probably belonged to a daimyō of a minor province, perhaps related to the Takigawa clan, which would employ kamon very similar to this one.
The hemispheric, sixteen-plate helm with great rivets (o-boshi kabuto) is typical of the production of samurai armors of the middle of the Edo period when samurai all over Japan began to look at the models of the medieval armors as a cue for their equipment. The frontal decoration has likewise a medieval origin: it displays stylized horns (kuwagata), and a golden metal dragon in the middle.
The cuirass (dō) is of type mogami - a quite rare construction – with rectangular plates that cover the whole length of each of the five elements of which it is composed. The ligature is of a sugake-odoshi type.
Another undoubtedly noteworthy element is the uncommon mask with the long, hooked nose, that recalls the mythical karasu-tengu (an aggressive half-human, half-bird being), which would apply rather well to the samurai’s martial nature. Menpo tengu are extremely unique and have been removed from their original armors quite often.
The armor is in an excellent state of preservation.