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Myōchin Nobuie (c.1504-54)

Armour (dōmaru) 1537 - 1850

Iron, lacquer, shakudō, gilt copper, gold filigree, enamel, silk, brocade, leather, doe-skin, horsehair, bear fur | 147.0 x 80.0 x 55.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 61765

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Armour’s prestige and expense made it an impressive diplomatic gift. Elements of two or three armours were combined to create an imposing piece for Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh in 1869. The outstanding 62-plate helmet, made in 1537, is signed by Myōchin Nobuie, part of a prolific school of armourers stretching back to the twelfth century. The leather boots are covered in black bear fur.

Presented to Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh by the Emperor Meiji, 22 September 1869