A customised okashi zunari kabuto bearing the Katô family crest. Likely to have been worn by a Hatamoto samurai bodyguard. This type of helmet would be issued, there are a number of customised features that make this stand out as being a high-class item.
The hachi bowl is decorated with kinpaku gold leaf motifs and maki-e gold lacquer. The standard tsunomoto crest holder is absent which implies that the bowl was intended to be decorated in gold.
The upper plate has been embellished with a decorative Tehen-no-kanamono for ventilation. The kashira-date is of yak hair and protrudes from the tehen-no-kanamono. Historically bushi would put their hair up through the larger tehen found on ancient kabuto, this attachment pays tribute to that old feature.
The shikoro neck guard also has extra features that are not immediately recognised. Firstly the fukigashi earpieces are completely bespoke being shaped to reflect the Kato family mon, they are gilded in ginpaku silver which has now tarnished. The lames of the shikoro number rokudan providing an extra-protective tier. The plates have been laced in the sugake style with 18 drops.
Conservation work includes cleaning, repairing and consolidation of urushi lacquer and replacement of the silk odoshi.