16th Century Samurai "Dō-Maru" Chest Armour
This late 16th century original and beautifully preserved dō-maru, was once worn by a Samurai archer on horseback. The hotoke dou (chestplate and backplate) is made of six moulded lacquered brass scales that are held together by braided cotton cording, and is hinged on the right side, closing on the left side with a braided cotton cord. The six kusazuri which were meant to protect the upper thigh, groin and buttocks are attached to the hotoke dou with a series of braided cotton cords. Both the the kasazuri and the muna-ita or upper section of the hotoke dou are decorated with exposed brass bands which are ribbed and serrated. The upper most part of the muna-ita retains its original painted design pattern of interlaced flowers and tiger heads, which were emblematic of the clan to which the samurai who wore this armour belonged. The shoulder covers retain their original silk quilted covers and attach to the muna-ita with braided cotton cords. This is an exceptional piece of history as well as art. This dō-maru is original with minor restoration, the braids cords attaching the side and shoulders, and in exceptional condition.