Matchlock Gun from Japan

Step 7 of 7

From Matsue to New York

Bashford Dean (1867-1928) - By Carl Leavitt Hubbs (1964) - wikicommons.jpg

The gun is now housed in the collections of the MET Museum in New York.[cf] It was actually acquired by Bashford Dean, the Honorary Curator of the Arms and Armor collection of the museum in the early 20th century, who recounts the acquisition of this gun in the 1916 publication “Notes on Arms and Armor”. The acquisition of the gun is an adventure story on its own: Bashford Dean travelled to Matsue in 1905, where he intended to observe and photograph a samurai armor in the storage room of a local temple. While in Matsue, he was asked if he would want to see some additional objects which did not belong to the temple and were actually for sale. Dean agreed, and it was then that he encountered this gun, which he immediately acquired for the MET Museum as he considered it a unique exemplar of its style. At the MET, the gun still raises the interest of curators and scholars, who are investigating its history and materiality in great detail.[cf Dean's catalogue]