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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Samurai Suit Part II

by Conservation

12/17/2015

conservation , behind the scenes , object conservation , samurai , Japan , Asian Art , armor

Here is an update on the conservation of two suits of Samurai armor in the objects conservation lab. This picture is the reverse side of a kusazuri, armor pieces fixed to the bottom of the chest and back plates for protecting the upper leg. These kusazuri have five sections woven together with beautifully colored silk thread. The plates are made of very thin iron plates covered in lacquer on the front and layers of gilt paper on the reverse. The maker of this armor obviously took great care to source beautiful materials, even on parts of the armor that would rarely be seen.  The plates on the left have been cleaned, which can been seen by the brighter colors of the silk thread and a higher surface sheen compared to the duller appearance of the plates on the right. Our objects conservator is working hard to make sure that even these hidden areas get the attention they need and will continue to bring you updates on the conservation of all of the beautiful parts and materials that make up the armor.