Suit of Armor and Helmet

Suit of Armor and Helmet

18th century
Artist
Juryo Mitsumasa, Japanese, blank
Haruta Katsumitsu, Japanese, blank
suit of armor
iron, silver, lacquer, leather and silk
Anonymous Gift
1978.225.1-12
Haruta Katsumitsu (Japanese), Juryo Mitsumasa (Japanese). Suit of Armor and Helmet. 18th century. iron, silver, lacquer, leather and silk. Anonymous Gift. 1978.225.1-12.
Dimensions
overall height: 45 in, 114.3000 cm
Department
Asian
Collection
Asian
Suit of Armor and Helmet by Haruta Katsumitsu and Juryo Misumasa Japan 1700s, Edo period Iron, silver, lacquer, leather, and silk Gift of John and Celeste Fleming 1978.225.1-.12 In the Edo period (1615-1868), the armor of the military aristocracy, or samurai, was a symbol of privileged status rather than practical fighting equipment. The owner of this armor might have been a high-ranking government bureaucrat or policeman but the code of honor of the time required him to master the arts of both peace and war. The elaborate decoration and intricate construction testify to both the wealth of the samurai owner and the skill of the makers, whose signatures are inscribed on their handiwork.
Known Provenance
N.d., Marjorie Smith (nee Strong) [b. 1896, d. 1978], purchased at an unknown gallery in New York [1]; n.d. given to Mrs. Smith's son Martin DeForest Smith Jr [d. 2003] ; at least December 1971-1978, anonymous collectors (both now deceased) [2]; 1978, DAM collection, anonymous gift. [1] Two letters in Asian art file from Marjorie Smith (unsure if this is Marjorie Strong Smith or her daughter of the same name) to the donor dated 1972 and 1973 reference the past of the armor, stating that it had been in the Smith family for a significant period of time prior to its acquisition by the donors. [2] Object has been on loan to the DAM since December of 1971.