Bonhams New York Presents Arts of the Samurai Sale

The legendary ancient Japanese warrior-statesmen known as the Samurai take their name from the Japanese word saburau, meaning "the one who serves", and over the centuries they have become synonymous with loyalty, military valour, and self-sacrifice. The Samurai rose from mounted guards to nobility and military leaders of Japan, leaving a legacy that endures even to the present day. Bonhams New York presents Arts of the Samurai sale on Wednesday 27 October 2021, showcasing more than 120 lots of Japanese armours, swords, sword fittings, and war helmets.

Commenting on the sale, Jeff Olson, Bonhams Director of Japanese Art, said: "Samurai is one of the very few ancient traditions of any culture that has adapted perfectly to take its place in the contemporary world. As the Samurai rose in both social and economic stature, they became the driving force behind the production of many kinds of arts. The sale, presenting a rich selection of their cultural legacy, allows us to take a glimpse into what has shaped the Japanese art we enjoy today."

Highlights of the sale include:

- Lot 20. A Rare And Important Iroiro Odoshi Haramaki (Close-Fitting Cuirass). Estimate: US$ 100,000 - 150,000. (Pictured above). Haramaki (literally "belly wrapping") armours were first produced during the late fourteenth century, and were worn almost exclusively by retainers who commonly fought on foot. Gradually, however, in response to changes in military techniques, higher ranking warriors found they needed armor that provided more mobility than the traditional boxy o-yoroi. The haramaki offered close-fitting protection around the torso and allowed for greater ease in walking and running. By the fifteenth century many high-ranking warriors were wearing haramaki and their patronage resulted in the production of high-quality examples. A haramaki of similar age and comparable condition can be found in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

- Lot 26. A Fine And Rare Tamtami Gusoku (Folding Armor) with a Tengu Menpo. The menpo by Tomohachi. Edo period (1615-1868), 17th/18th century. Estimate: US$ 50,000 - 70,000.

- Lot 128. Suishinshi Masahide (1750-1825), a Suishinshi katana, Edo period (1615-1868), dated 1813. Estimate: US$ 25,000 - 35,000.

- Lot 62. A set of fittings for a daisho (pair of long and short swords) by Hamano Naohide (circa 1775-1800). Edo period (1615-1868), late 18th century. Estimate: US$ 15,000 - 25,000.

- Lot 2. An Odawara-School Tamagata Zaboshi Kabuto (Helmet with Ball-Shaped Rivets And Chrysanthemum Washers). Muromachi (1333-1573) Or Momoyama (1573-1615) Period, Later 16th Century. Estimate: US$ 10,000 - 15,000.


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