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From the Museum: The Return of the Samurai

31st March 2020

NEWHM : D527, Samurai helmet: “zunari kabuto”

From the Museum: The Return of the Samurai

Today we’re featuring a blog post by Jo Anderson, assistant keeper of Archaeology at Great North Musuem: Hancock, about an interesting object in the NHSN’s World Cultures collections.

The Return of the Samurai

Our awesome exhibition Other Worlds: The Art of Atomhawk had barely been open for two weeks before we learned that we’d have to shut the Great North Museum: Hancock down for the safety of visitors and staff alike, as we try to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we won’t be able to experience and enjoy the exhibition for a little while, I thought I’d try and bring the displays to our visitors via a virtual format – the humble blog post.  This week, I’m looking at the mighty Samurai armour exhibit []

Read the full post on the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums blog.

The NHSN’s collections of World Culture artefacts, housed in the Great North Museum: Hancock are significant. Most of these were acquired during the 19th century, and there are some extremely important early collections, including several items that can be traced back to Captain Cook’s voyages.

See the museum catalogue record for additional details about the Samurai helmet.

The Samurai helmet was deposited by Mrs Speke of Aydon Castle, Corbridge in 1948. Aydon Castle is a fortified manor house now in the care of English Heritage.

If anyone has any information on Mrs Speke and why she had a Japanese Samurai, helmet we would be intrigued to hear it. Please contact June Holmes, Archivist at the NHSN.