According to auction house Christie’s, the clamorous bid “Honkozane Nima gusoku Do” (本小札二枚胴具足) – red and blue armor with gold applications from the Edo period (1603-1868) – is the highest ever made in an auction for an armor-type Japanese, almost double the maximum bid estimated (200,000 to 300,000 dollars).
The auction house reported that the armor has been acquired by Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
RED-AND-BLUE-LACED GOLD-LACQUERED HONKOZANE NIMAI DO GUSOKU ARMOR
EDO PERIOD (17TH CENTURY), HELMET SIGNED SAOTOME IECHIKA (c. early 17th century)
The helmet an elegant and unusual one hundred and twenty-four-plate high-pointed version of the shiinari (acorn shape) type of suji-bachi, signed Saotome Iechika, with a fine multi-stage gilt tehen kanamono, and a single shinodare (arrow-shaped component) in the form of a snake, the maedate (forecrest) of a gilt praying mantis poised as if to strike its prey, a full and spreading shikoro (neck guard), the o-sode (shoulder guards) of downward-curving rows of honkozane (individual scales lacquered and laced together) flaring outwards in symmetrical curves toward the lower tiers.
The nimai do (two-piece cuirass), shikoro, sode, kusazuri all having blue lacing on the upper rows of kozane and red on the lower rows, robust yet elegant black-lacquered tsutsu-gote (sleeves with hinged-plate forearm pieces) with the triple-aoi mon of the
Tokugawa family, Kii province (Wakayama Prefecture)
Idemitsu Museum of Arts,