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Saturday 14 September 2013
Tower of London

Arms and armour have been given as gifts throughout history. Those pieces chosen or commissioned, as presents were often art of the highest quality as well as being practical gifts, usually intended for use. Many such gifts represent diplomatic contact between cultures from the far sides of the world, and this one-day conference celebrates the 400th anniversary of the gift of armour from the Shogun of Japan, Tokugawa Hidetada, to King James I and VI of England and Scotland.

The Tower conference is held in conjunction with SOAS, University of London, J400 and the 2012 London Matsuri festival, as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Anglo-Japanese relations. It will include papers on the Japanese armours presented to James I and other European monarchs, as well as a wide variety of aspects of gift-giving with arms and armour between nations, from the Middle Ages to the end of the nineteenth century.

Provisional speakers

  • Ian Bottomley: Japanese gifts of armour to Spain in the 16th century and the Tokugawa Japanese gift armours to James I and the European courts
  • Nicholas Hall: The gift of the Dardanelles gun by Abdulaziz of Turkey to Queen Victoria
  • Graeme Rimer: Maximilian and the gift of armour to Henry VIII
  • Guy Wilson: Gifts of arms from the Stuart court to Spain and Russia
  • Eveline Sint Nicolaas: The Asian arms collections of Michiel De Ruyter and Cornelis Tromp
  • Niels Arthur Andersen: Gifts of arms from the Dey of Algiers to the Prince Regent and other European powers
  • Thom Richardson and Natasha Bennett: The East India Company gift to the Tower of London in 1851
  • Greg Irvine: Diplomatic gifts of Japanese arms and armour in the 19th century


Tickets available:

£65 including lunch
£45 for concessions (60+, students & registered unemployed)

Booking information

Telephone: 0113 220 1888

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