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Old 17th October 2009, 07:00 AM   #1
Cathey
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Default PATA GAUNTLET SWORD

Hi guys

PATA GAUNTLET SWORD

Nationality Southern India Marathas
Dimensions Blade 89cm 35.2”, Gauntlet 30 cm 11 ¾ “, Settings 11cm. Overall Length 180.8 Cm 46 ¾ “.

PATA; GAUNTLET SWORD consists of a combination of a wide double-edged blade with short central fuller and a gauntlet. A pair of metal settings heavily decorated with flowers and scrolls attaches the blade to the hilt of a gauntlet. These settings run down the face of the blade on both sides. The Steel gauntlet covers the arm almost up to the elbow. The gauntlet has an iron strap attached by hinges that hooks around the arm also showing signs of gilt decoration. The grip is located inside the gauntlet, at a right angle to the blade. The outside of the steel gauntlet is very ornately decorated with flowers and scrolls heavily gilded.

Most of my collection is European; however I have a weakness for Pata’s as they are such a visually spectacular weapon. This is one of three in my collection. Whilst I have a large library there is not a lot written about this weapon and I am posting it to elicit the thoughts of others.


Cheers Cathey
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Old 17th October 2009, 07:05 AM   #2
KuKulzA28
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Rubbish, I'll dispose of it safety for you if you PM me!

I don't know much, but it seems like this is not an ordinary pata... seems too classy, with just the right touch of decor. That being said, the pata wasn't exactly the most common weapon to begin with. All I can say is, that is amazing, and I hope collectors like you will take great care of these kinds of artifacts.

Now, may the gurus and buffs speak up!
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Old 17th October 2009, 12:18 PM   #3
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Its an absolute beauty Cathey.
Nice mix of chiseled decoration and koftgari, lovely form to the gauntlet, even a European look in some respects, especially to the upper part.
The blade seems rather 'plain' compared to the grandure of the rest, but of course that is where you want function over form, and you'd certainly get a good 'slash' with it when charging down your foes!
Any markings on the blade? Wanna share some close-ups of the steel?
A very fine example.

Regards
Gene
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Old 18th October 2009, 01:08 AM   #4
Aleksey G.
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Cathey,
Hello, I totally join Atlantia in this, please post the clear close ups of the steel, also look closer at the steel, not only the blade but the hand protective part, those open steel areas with borders adorned by some chisel and gold work might be wootz damascus.... if you have an etchan solution (ferric chloride) try to etch a small area.

A beauty....
Alex

Last edited by Aleksey G. : 18th October 2009 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 19th October 2009, 03:23 AM   #5
Jim McDougall
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An absolutely superb example of pata, Cathey!!!
These indeed are not at all a common weapon, and thier origin as a weapon form the source of lively debate for many years. It does seem generally held that the gauntlet sword did originate probably from the transverse gripped daggers known as 'katars' and in Mahratta regions, believed about 16th century.

This example seems to be likely of 17th century, possibly early 18th, and the blade probably European, resembling arming sword blades of this period.
The reason the pata is relatively uncommon is that they were a weapon used primarily by swordsmen of tremendous skill, and unpopular with the larger rank and file.
The steel, koftgari and floral motif on this suggest an individual of considerable station, and such persons or officers were most likely to have had a weapon of this quality, especially a pata.

It should be noted that while these did originate with the Mahratta, they became known among Mughal sultanates in the Deccan in some degree, as far east as Tanjore where they are extremely well represented, and to the north with Rajputs and Sikhs, in addition to the original western regions of the Mahrattas.

It would be interesting to compare the floral motif with similar on tulwars, which might reveal this could quite possibly be either Mughal from the Deccan or possibly Rajput, as well as Mahratta.

Excellent example!!!

Best regards,
Jim
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Old 19th October 2009, 09:29 PM   #6
Cathey
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Hi Gene, Alex and Jim

Firstly what is ferric chloride?

The blade is plain, as they are on most Pata’s I have seen. Generally Pata’s have European blades so and this one looks typically European broad sword to me. I will try and load so close ups of the metal, but I don’t think it will tell you much.

The Information I have found on the Pata to date is:

The Pata is a single-handed Indian gauntlet sword. This sword was predominantly found in the southern regions of India. The Marathas invented the Pata, and it was their most favoured weapon. The Pata consists of a combination of a long double-edged blade and a gauntlet. The blade is usually European, Italian or Spanish. A pair of metal settings attaches the blade to the hilt of a gauntlet. These settings run down the face of the blade on both sides. The gauntlet covers the arm almost up to the elbow. The gauntlet has an iron strap hinged to the upper end that hooks around the arm. The grip is located inside the gauntlet, at a right angle to the blade.

The inside of the gauntlet is often padded to reinforce the grip and to reduce the shock of blows. The outside of the gauntlet is often covered with metal-worked decorations or embossed. A few were even studded with jewels. Some of the decorations depicted battle scenes. Others had prayers, or pictures of gods or large animals on them.

The patta was used by all military classes, particularly by experienced swordsmen. For one who is inexperienced with the patta it can be difficult to use but it is the most effective of all Indian swords. It is wielded by the strong muscles of the fore and upper arm, and not by the wrist. This allows the sword to deliver more powerful blows and thrusts at any angle. This method also greatly reduces the amount of fatigue, due to the use of the upper arm muscles (Rawson 46).

References:
Christie’s 16/7/03 Lot 19.
Pant, G.N. Indian Arms and Armour Volume II. New Delhi, S. Attar Singh Army Educational Stores. 1980. Pgs. 61-68
Rawson, P. S. The Indian Sword. London: Herbert Jenkins 1968. Pgs. 44-47
STONE, George Cameron, A Glossary Of The Construction, Decoration & Use Of Arms & Armour In All Countries And In All Times Pp 484-486
Wallis & Wallis Sale 458, 28/8/02 Lot 1122 Plate 12 Pp36
WELAND, Gerald A Collector's Guide To Swords, Daggers & Cutlasses PP107-108

Cheers Cathey
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Old 21st October 2009, 07:26 PM   #7
kronckew
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Ferric Chloride (FeCl3) is a dry chemical compound mixed with water to produce an etchant normally used to etch copper coated fibreglass circuit boards, it can be purchased at electronics supply houses like maplins in the UK, or radio shack. it can also be bought as a pre-mixed liquid. it etches not only brass and copper, but steel as well, and collectors use it to bring out the pattern of laminated or pattern welded steel, differentially hardened steel, damascus and wootz/bulat.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 11:44 AM   #8
bhushan_lawate
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Hi all,

I think that this pata is more "North Indian" than "South Indian" especially looking at the floral motifs.

I have seen an entirely different type of designs on the patas of South (also I have not come across many chiseled gauntlets in South)

However we have room enough to debate this attribution owing to the vast variety and cross cultural influences on arms and armors in the Indian Sub continent.

One more aspect I have noted of the many patas that I have seen in the south is the flexibility of the blades.

It will be interesting to know how flexible this particular blade is.

Anything is the outcome of this discussion will only add to the knowledge on this vast topic.


Regards,
Bhushan Lawate
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Old 24th October 2009, 05:20 AM   #9
Cathey
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Default Pata's

Hi Bhushan

Thank you for your comments on the Pata, and yes the blade is extremely flexible, I will amend my records to include northern India as I was unaware that Pata’s came from that region as well. Any other comments on this Pata’s posted will be most appreciated.

I have two other Pata's which I will post when I get a chance to take decent pictures of them. They also have flexible blades which I suspect are European in origin.

If anyone else has Pata’s could you please post them as the more we see the more we learn?

Cheers Cathey.
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Old 31st July 2016, 12:43 PM   #10
Jens Nordlunde
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Hi Cathey,
Have you had time to photograph you other pata's:-)??
Have a look here http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=21717

Last edited by Jens Nordlunde : 31st July 2016 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 1st August 2016, 10:32 AM   #11
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Personal advise: go on Amazon and get a bottle of Nital, 2% nitric acid in methanol. Infinitely superior to ferric chloride for etching. It does not leave a yucky brown discoloration.
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Old 1st August 2016, 11:53 AM   #12
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Ariel, glad you added that it should be 2% :-).
Have a look here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nital
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Old 1st August 2016, 01:19 PM   #13
mariusgmioc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Personal advise: go on Amazon and get a bottle of Nital, 2% nitric acid in methanol. Infinitely superior to ferric chloride for etching. It does not leave a yucky brown discoloration.


Yes indeed, Nital is way better than ferric chloride. It is not as messy and gives a nice dark patina, depending on the quality of the wootz.

I have experimented with various concentrations of Nital, between 2-5% and 2% is a little two weak for good results. For quality, high contrast wootz 3% would be enough but would require more applications. 4% would be ideal for most wootz but you must dilute it yourself as I didn't find Nital 4% commercially available. 5% is rather strong and may leave some golden taint, but sometimes is necessary for low contrast wootz.

In order to reveal the structure, the blade must be polished to grit 2000-3000 for best results.

However, I never saw a Pata with wootz blade so I am not sure it would be worth the effort. Maybe should do a test first.

Can anybody please post some photos with Pata swords with wootz blades?!


Last edited by mariusgmioc : 1st August 2016 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 12th January 2017, 02:43 PM   #14
Jens Nordlunde
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Marius,

The gauntlet is of wootz, but the blade is Indian and pattern welded.
North India 17th to early 18th century.
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Old 5th May 2020, 04:45 PM   #15
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Hi everybody !
Such good and nice exemple ! I loved them both (Jens and Cathey)!
The day you want to part with, you can surely send a pm hahaha !
What is asthonishing is the length of Cathey one. 180cm is huge !
I was thinking the length was more between 120-130cm ? I'm wrong?

But really, thanks for the eyes pleasure


Have a great day all,
Julien
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Old 5th May 2020, 07:46 PM   #16
kai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathey
Dimensions Blade 89cm 35.2”, Gauntlet 30 cm 11 ¾ “, Settings 11cm. Overall Length 180.8 Cm 46 ¾ “.

Must be a mess-up: Probably 118.8 cm!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 6th May 2020, 04:45 PM   #17
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Thanks Kai ! I looked at the proportion and if the total length was 180, it seems that the forearm of the guy was huge hahaha !
I'm really in love with that kind of sword...
What are the criteria for a good pata sword ? I think that avoiding bronze gauntlet is a good thing (hard to imagine that it could resist to a powerfull blow without moving). But is it "big" point to check ?
Thanks in advance !
Julien
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Old 7th May 2020, 07:30 AM   #18
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Pata was a popular weapon of the irregular Maratha cavalry. Their usual tactics was a mass attack, a couple of slashes and a quick retreat. Stabbing was not a part of the “menu”:-) That’s why their blades were bendable. I have seen several with stiff , often European, blades. But those were an exception.

Southern India had Urumi, a belt sword and some Caucasian shashkas were kept
bent into a circle within a sieve. Those were the ultimate examples of a weapon culture that preferred slashing over stabbing.
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