6 Points to buying a Samurai Armour
1 – Condition
The condition of the urushi lacquer is very important. Most armours are lacquered with urushi, this lacquer is in fact a number of layers that are built up from different materials. Only the very outer layer is pure urushi and waterproof. Over the years misuse and poor storage conditions can cause the lacquer to crack and delaminate. This type of damage will continue to worsen and without the correct treatment will eventually lead to total destruction of the ground layers. Each and every armour that I sell has had the urushi consolidated or repaired. If displayed correctly it will last for centuries to come.
2 – The Lacing
Odoshi silk lacing. Odoshi is organic, over time it rots away. This will cause all the laced section in an armour to become separated as the lacing ties break or turn to dust. To prevent this I ensure that all the items I have on offer are re-laced with new silk odoshi.
3 – Textiles
Silks, leathers and hemp are used on antique armours. The fine silk brocades will rot over the years and turn to dust. Therefore I source vintage silks for replacement on components such as kote, Haidate and sun-ate.
4 – Matching Armour
There are many composite armours on the market, for the new buyer it can be impossible to spot. All armours that I offer are classed as gusoku, which translates as a Matched Set.
All armours and weaponry that I offer are guaranteed to be of the age described. A shinsa appraisal certificate will be issued with each item.
The above five points will insure that you are investing in an item that will maintain its value. Japanese armour has never dropped in price and has seen a steady climb over the past ten years. Buying an armour that has undergone conservation and restoration will protect your investment.