Last month Bonhams auctioneers put together an amazing lot entitled 'Arts of the Samurai' Described as 'the policing force of Kyoto's 12th century imperial government,' the Samurai went on to take administrative control from the Imperial house eventually finding themselves at the top of the table in terms of Japan's caste system. Of course, this meant incredibly ornate costumes and armour created to signal wealth and power as well as scaring the living daylights out of the enemy. The auction house presented some eye-popping examples; frightening, beautiful and completely outrageous in terms of design, the quality and craftmanship that went into these pieces, from swords to helmets, was second to none. Take a look through the gallery for more.

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