Neck protector for fireman's helmet (hikeshi-shikoro)

Edo period
19th century

Object Place: Japan


152 x 85 cm (59 13/16 x 33 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wool plain-weave, fulled ground, appliquéd with gilt leather; lining: silk, twill-weave ground with gilt paper strip discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts tied down with supplementary warps in twill-weave (kinran)

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Samurai fireman’s semi-circular neck protector for helmet (hikeshi-shikoro) with design of two diamond crests at the top, below which are stylized Chinese flower motifs (karahana) in appliquéd gilt leather outlined with blue silk cord on a red plain-weave, felled wool ground; lined with white silk kin ran patterned with dragons and clouds; scalloped hem and collar with “frog” closure and buttons at neck, slit 3/4 way up the center back.

Wool probably imported from Holland.


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection