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Iron model of a carp, made by Muneyori

 

Gift of Professor and Mrs John Hull Grundy

Asia HG765

    Iron model of a carp, made by Muneyori

    Japan
    Meiji era, late 19th century AD

    After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, many makers of iron helmets adapted their skills to modelling animals such as fish, reptiles, beetles, shellfish, dragons and other mythical creatures. The same techniques used in riveting curved pieces of metal together to form armour were employed to create feathers and scales. The models thus formed are astonishingly flexible and can be moved into different positions.

    The British Museum has a group of these objects including a dragon, a pheasant, a crab, a snake as well as a crayfish and this carp. Most of the pieces were made by later members of the Myōchin family of armour component makers. This one is signed Muneyori.

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