Saturday, 23 July 2016

A curious find--

This is pretty much a post of "historical yak", along the lines of the one about the traces of Nobunaga's presence in Rome, but also connected to my investigation about Nobunaga's "Western Armour" of time ago... In the sense that it's something that should be taken lightly, but still intriguing as it throws an unexpected ingredient in the soup.

Well, on May I toured some bits of Northern Italy, among which were the Isole Borromee.
During the visit to the palace of Isola Bella my attention was caught by these armours:

I went over to check them out immediately, as I wasn't expecting to find some nanban-dou there and, checking out the description of the item I got to know that they were of "Spanish manufacture, dated XVIII century".
I was like "Spanish Manufacture"--? There must be an error-- I guess that they wrote the wrong thing... But the other descriptions of the items around the palace made sense, so I couldn't assume that only this one would be wrong.
Looking at it closely, the style is indeed kinda Japanese, but the manufacture is indeed Western: no laquer, a somehow simpler and more comfortable design... So, the options are two: rather than importing Japanese armours, the Spanish artisans started to craft these replicas to please the exotic tastes of the loaded class, or there was indeed a market from the West to Japan to import cheaper armors to battle or to use as a reference.

What do you think? I'm quite sure that it's all about the first option, but considering how closely these armors remind me of the ones that Nobunaga sports in popular fiction, I couldn't help my imagination to run free!
As an extra to my fantasy, the name of the item is quite suggestive itself: "Black Armour"!

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