KITAMURA: A PAIR OF LACQUERED IRON STIRRUPS (ABUMI) KITAMURA: A PAIR OF LACQUERE…
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KITAMURA: A PAIR OF LACQUERED IRON STIRRUPS (ABUMI)

KITAMURA: A PAIR OF LACQUERED IRON STIRRUPS (ABUMI) By Kitamura, signed Kitamura saku Japan, 16th-17th century, Momoyama (1573-1615) to early Edo period (1615-1868) The pair of iron abumi of typical swan-like form (wa-abumi), inlaid to the exterior with a sakura (cherry-blossom) mon in brass takazogan. The buckles to each terminus with movable tangs. The interior of red lacquer. Each stirrup signed on the uprights KITAMURA saku [made by Kitamura]. SIZE ca. 26 x 31 cm (each) WEIGHT 5,048 g (together) Condition: Very good condition commensurate with age. The lacquer with expected age cracks and some losses. Minuscule nicks and light scratches. Few minor losses to inlays. Abumi, Japanese stirrups, were used in Japan as early as the 5th century, and were a necessary component along with the Japanese saddle (kura) for the use of horses in warfare. Abumi became the type of stirrup used by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The military version of this open-sided stirrup, called the shitanaga abumi, was in use by the middle Heian period. It was thinner, had a deeper toe pocket and an even longer and flatter foot shelf. It is not known why the Japanese developed this unique style of stirrup, but this stirrup stayed in use until European style-stirrups were introduced in the late 19th century. The abumi had a distinctive swan-like shape, curved up and backward at the front so as to bring the loop for the leather strap over the instep and achieve a correct balance. Most of the surviving specimens from this period are made entirely of iron, inlaid with designs of silver or other materials, and covered with lacquer. There were three makers from the Momoyama to early Edo period who signed Kitamura. The family also made tsuba.

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KITAMURA: A PAIR OF LACQUERED IRON STIRRUPS (ABUMI)

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