Edo period samurai suit

An Edo period samurai suit of armour priced at £30,000-50,000 at David Thatcher Samurai Art.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The master craftsman-turned-specialist dealer received a remarkable response to the publication of his most recent catalogue, selling some 90% of his new stock in a matter of days.

Taking advantage of the strong dollar and a weak pound (the two currencies almost at parity on September 26), American buyers took 12 pieces including a rare red lacquer armour made for a member of the Takeda clan in the Momoyama period.

Social media hit

Thatcher, who has more than 18,000 followers on social media for his images of samurai armour and weaponry, sold it within a matter of hours via his Instagram account.

He told ATG: “I’ve sold a dozen pieces into the US in the past eight days. Included were freshly listed items that I had purchased from Japan specifically for the AAL gallery event.

“It’s been my best week ever. I even took my wife out for fish and chips!”

Although only five items from Thatcher’s AAL catalogue remain, three full Edo samurai suits of armour (priced at £30,000-50,000 each) will make a statement when he exhibits at the Shapero Gallery, Bond Street from October 27 to November 5.

Momoyama period mask

A Momoyama period iron and lacquer mask signed Nobuie on display at Japan House.

The dealer will also show a later Momoyama period iron and lacquer mask that is among the items chosen for display at Japan House in Knightsbridge as part of the group exhibition The Art of Collecting: Japan.

The 16th century mask has a gilded inscription and kao bearing the signature of the famous myochin smith Nobuie.

Trading for only a year, David Thatcher Samurai Art is a relatively new member of the dealing community but he is well known in his chosen field as a leading restorer and adviser of 35 years’ experience.

See next week’s edition,
ATG No 2564, for more on East Asian art.