Dave Thatcher is not just a merchandiser he is an enthusiast and craftsmen with regards to everything Katchu. I personally have purchased from Dave on several occasions, he goes the extra mile, he is not just in this for profit he gives great advice and is a dealer to be trusted in an area that is a potential minefield for the novice.

P. Curruthers

I had long wanted to add a vintage Kabuto and Menpo to my collection but had been fearful of fakes and bad restoration work and my general lack of knowledge in such a complicated area of collecting. When I contacted Dave he went above and beyond to introduce me to the world of Japanese armour with no obligation to purchase anything. Many hours were spent in his house going through his vast collection and eventually discussing a suitable purchase. Originality was very important to me, and also the desire to buy something that wouldn’t fall apart in a short space of time and he went to great pains to make sure that my requirements were met.

I’m extremely happy with my purchase which now has pride of place in my collection. When I came to collect them I brought my family along as they were also interested, Dave spent more time showing them his collection which enthused my 13-year-old son enough to save up and make his first purchase of a Hanpo.

Anyone who is interested in purchasing or having Katchu restored would be well served to talk to Dave as he is genuinely passionate about his work. It’s truly refreshing to meet someone who is more concerned about everything being right than making a “fast buck” at a customers expense.

Iain Eyres

I have been a longtime client of Mr Dave Thatcher and I came to appreciate both his talent as a restorer and the way he conducts business.  He made a complete restoration of an armour I bought that was in bad condition and he brought it back to the original splendour after a work that took many months.  Even if the work was so complex he never changed the original budget we agreed upon, even if he added restoration that was not originally planned. I also have many other items on which he worked on and I am completely satisfied with the quality of the work that I value on the same level of the best Japanese and European experts I had a chance to study.  I have also had a chance to benefit from his expertise in katchu, as he has given me precious advice on buying and sorting items. He has the most friendly and correct way to conduct business and he is always available for tips on caring and conservation of pieces. So as a very satisfied customer, I strongly recommend his work and I can surely point him out as one of the leading experts in Japanese armour restoration.

Massimo Borgnis


Dave Thatcher has carried out the lacquering of a helmet for me and the result is superb. His knowledge of Japanese armour and the techniques used in their construction enables him to carry out restorations to a standard as good as that used by their original makers. I have therefore no hesitation in recommending him to anyone wanting armour restored.

Ian Bottomley
Curator Emeritus,
formerly Senior Curator of Oriental Arms and Armour, The Royal Armouries, Leeds

I live in Sweden, here we do not have any conserver/restorer of Japanese armor.

During the years of collecting I have sent numerous items for conservation and restoration  Complete armours, kabuto, masks and sangu alike. Dave does undertake the work with the utmost professionalism. He does not only excel regarding lacquer work but is also with metals and textiles.

I have always been happy with the quality of his work. He is also affordable and that makes my items retain and raise its value.
Dave also has the “artistic eye” being able to advise you what to do, how to do it, but not the least, what not to do, equally important.

I am a very content customer and will always return.

Dr Anthony de Vos

Dave Thatcher is a true artisan in the world of Katchu I have personally bought a few items this year from him that he has masterly restored and preserved with the same skill and spirit as the craftsmen who originally made these items. I would highly recommend him as a dealer in Katchu that you can trust and seek advice from at any time. He has helped me countless times with questions I have on the world of samurai armour and guided me on aftercare of the purchases I have made from him.

Robert Boyd

Excellent, and expert restoration was done on three items thus far. There will be more ….
Also, Katchushi advice has helped me avoid inappropriate online purchases, and thus saved me money well.

John Anthony Scott

I have a number of kabuto restored by Dave ..the quality is exceptional and Dave’s knowledge of Japanese armour is second to none. His enthusiasm for his work and commitment to constantly improve will definitely have me returning time and again for all my armour needs…

Steve Ingall


Please feel free to contact me by phone or email. Callers in person to the studio by appointment only.

Towcester, Northants, UK

Mobile: 07971-955214
Landline: 01327-323042
Email: info@katchu.uk

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