Art of the samurai comes to life in Sworders' Nov. 2 auction of Dennison Collection

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, February 29, 2024

Art of the samurai comes to life in Sworders' Nov. 2 auction of Dennison Collection
Japanese suji bachi kabuto (ridged helmet). Estimate £400-£500.

STANSTED MOUNTFICHET.- The art of the samurai takes center stage at Sworders on Thursday, November 2nd. As part of the British firm’s autumn Asian art offering, a total of 150 lots of Japanese arms and armor will be sold for the family of the late Peter Raymond Dennison.

A former marine mechanic with a deep interest in historical warfare, Dennison was a collector of Edo and Meiji period weaponry for many years and a well-known face in the collecting community. His wish was that the collection should be sold at auction, which is how most came into his possession.

Many of the pieces in the sale date from the Edo period (1603-1868), when the city of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) became the center of Tokugawa shōgunate power. Although it was a time of peace, it was also the era of Bushidō – The Way of the Warrior – when moral and military values were learned and maintained by swordsmanship. The word samurai derives from the term meaning “one who serves.”

The core of the collection is an array of 17th-19th century Japanese blades, each made by folding and hammering layers of high and low carbon steel. There are some 15 examples of the wakizashi (side-inserted sword), which were worn in pairs from the sash at the side. Additionally, there are 19 katana, whose classic curved, slender, single-edged blade is considered among the finest cutting weapons in military history; and more than 30 varieties of polearms and spears: the naginata, omi yari and su yari. They carry estimates ranging from £80-£120 ($97-$145) to £1,500-£2,500 ($1,820-$3,030).

With Japan at peace from the early 17th century, much of the costume and accessories of the samurai were used for parades and martial arts rather than on the battlefield. Japanese armor, in particular, was anachronistic, and still made in the centuries-old fashion with the o-yoroi (cuirass and skirt) formed of flexible plates once designed to repel a bow and arrow.

There are several good gusoku (composite armors) in the Dennison collection that date from either the end of the Edo period or the beginning of the Meiji restoration that would ultimately abolish the samurai class. The famous Haitōrei Edict of 1876 ended the ancient samurai privilege of bearing swords.

A near full suit typically comprises the o-yoroi, sode (shoulder guards), kabuto (helmet with neck guard), datemono (crest), kote (sleeve armor) and haidate (thigh armour) with kusari (chainmail) and a menpo (face mask) with yodarekake (throat guard). Hugely decorative, 15 different sets are offered with guides from £1,000-£3,500 ($1,215-$$4,245).

Dennison was also interested in tsuba and other sword fittings, as well as Japanese matchlock rifles. Examples from both categories are included in the sale.

For more information or to view the catalog and sign up to bid, please visit Sworders online at

Today's News

October 29, 2023

Are 'Secret Room' drawings by Michelangelo? Now, visitors can judge for themselves.

The good. The bad. The ugly. Inside Berlusconi's art collection.

Artists call for boycott after Artforum fires its top editor

Old Faithful is boiling, smelly and the perfect home for these living things

Ida Applebroog, whose art confronted relationships, dies at 93

Hidden art: A rhapsody for the soul, in 10 city corners

Chiswick's Nov. 7 auction led by rare Aesthetic Movement cabinet that incorporates Dutch Old Master painting

West End theatergoers grumble as prices for the best seats surge

The estates of Fred Bentley, Sr. and Vectra Orkin Barnette will be sold by Ahlers & Ogletree

American Art Week at Bonhams in November

Sofia Coppola makes it look easy. It isn't.

Paintings by Maud Lewis and Joe Norris share the spotlight in Miller & Miller's Folk Art auction

(La)Horde: Dancing out primal impulses and resistance

Joe Hill, swashbuckling South Street Seaport merchant, dies at 76

Art of the samurai comes to life in Sworders' Nov. 2 auction of Dennison Collection

Calder, Botero, Haring and Anuszkiewicz lead Heritage's Modern & Contemporary Art event

Two paintings by Daniel Garber to be sold by John McInnis Auctioneers

Frank Miller's cover introducing his Batman and Robin leaps into Heritage's November Comics Event

Nohra Haime Gallery announces the addition of Nessim Bassan to their roster of artists

'Levee' by Adrianna Ault to be published by VOID

Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town' to return to Broadway next fall

The Comedy Club was as intimate as a living room. Actually, it was one.

Heritage's Nov. 16 Silver Auction serves rare Tiffany & Co. 'Lap-Over-Edge' dinner service

Rare Rabindranath Tagore landscapes come to Bonhams South Asian Art sale

How to Customize Water Bottles: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Types of Online Slots

Factors You Need To Consider To Choose The Best Online Casino

Why Students Should Be More Interested

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful