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Old 16th October 2013, 03:38 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default Would This Indian Sword Classify as a Sousson Patah???

I recently purchased this piece from Ebay. I cleaned it up just a little bit.
It is a small sword with a wide blade and the hilt indicates it was carried by a smaller person(like me!) It is 27in. in total length. The blade is only 23in. long, but it is just over 2.5in. wide at its widest point. Two shallow fullers are on either side of the central rib. There is a narrower fuller just below the spine. The blade shows a clear color contrast in its pattern welding and the pattern is pretty consistent and it absolutely rings. The hilt is iron chiseled in a floral motif and then covered in silver, most of which remains except for worn edges.

Does this sword, simply by way of its slightly down curved blade, qualify as a sousson patah???...or perhaps a form of a soussan patah. It has little in common with the sousson patahs that have a more traditional longer, narrower, yataghan style blade. Is there a possibility it could be regarded as something else entirely?

Any guesstimates regarding its age??? I am guessing early to mid 19th century.

Does the hilt perhaps give away the region of India frow which it most likely originated???

Looking forward to your insight and comments.
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Last edited by CharlesS : 16th October 2013 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 16th October 2013, 04:10 PM   #2
Runjeet Singh
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Hi Charles,

I think it's earlier than you think. The hilt is 17thC or 18thC and suggests it is likely from Tanjore.

My opinion is that if the blade would be classed as a 'Kopis' blade, then it is a Sousson Patah. The alternative is a Kirach - and the blades are much straighter on those.

According to Rawson's descriptions - this would be a forward-angled blade, a more modern variation to a 13thC Hoysala sword - this would fit in nicely with the Tanjore attribution.

Good buy - well done!

Regards,
Runjeet
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Old 16th October 2013, 06:09 PM   #3
Battara
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Not that I am an expert in this field, but I have never seen this form before. Very interesting.
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Old 16th October 2013, 08:29 PM   #4
CharlesS
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Thanks for your insight Runjeet. I think the kopis concept is much more appropriate considering what has widely become accepted as a sousson patah. Interesting to learn that you think it was earlier.

The sword has lost some weight due to generations of cleaning, but probably not much and it is very comfortable to weld and very well balanced.

I have always had a weakness for these and truer 'classic' sossun patahs...and I know Battara feels the same way!

Last edited by CharlesS : 16th October 2013 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 17th October 2013, 12:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akaalarms
Hi Charles,

I think it's earlier than you think. The hilt is 17thC or 18thC and suggests it is likely from Tanjore.

My opinion is that if the blade would be classed as a 'Kopis' blade, then it is a Sousson Patah. The alternative is a Kirach - and the blades are much straighter on those.


Okay, now I'm a bit confused .
I have always taken this particular sword for a kirach .
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=kirach
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Old 17th October 2013, 05:47 AM   #6
bhushan_lawate
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Hi All,

My guess is this is a "Kirach" as the blade looks to be cut down out of what could have been a longer sword blade earlier.

I'm open to learning more form our more experienced folks out here..!!!


Regards,
Bhushan
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Old 18th October 2013, 03:33 PM   #7
Jens Nordlunde
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Hi Charles, it is a nice old sword, thanks for showing.
The sword is not a kirach, and as I see it it is not a sossun pata either.
I think Runjeet is on the right track, about it being a variation of an old southern sword type. Somewhere I have a picture of a blade like this, although much heavier, but I have not yet been able to locate the picture.
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Old 20th October 2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Based on the commentary above I am attaching pics that I believe illustrate the kopis influenced blade styles in several sizes, and the more traditionally accepted sousson patah of the 19th century.

The third picture may be a combination or "morphing" of the two blade types. It is also likely early to mid 19th century with chiseling to mimic a reinforced spine.

The last picture is of a massive kirach mounted on a khanda hilt.
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Last edited by CharlesS : 20th October 2013 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 2nd April 2016, 04:45 AM   #9
estcrh
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This sword looks to me like a kopis influenced blade, any more information on them or additional examples
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Old 2nd April 2016, 07:14 AM   #10
ariel
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By using a term " kopis-influenced" are we assuming or asserting that Indian forward-leaning swords are descending from Greek Kopis?
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Old 2nd April 2016, 08:16 AM   #11
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Interesting question considering that the Greek under Alexander the Great reached the North of India. But I guess we will never know the exact answer and this topic will be open for speculations decades from now.
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Old 2nd April 2016, 09:21 AM   #12
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Hello Ariel,

Quote:
By using a term " kopis-influenced" are we assuming or asserting that Indian forward-leaning swords are descending from Greek Kopis?

I also feel that this would be a pretty Euro-centric assumption, especially considering that these blades seem to be classic southern Indian.

Even kopis-like appears to be somewhat of a stretch IMVHO. Forward-curved and recurved blades seems to describe things nicely without comparing apples to oranges.

While typical SP and kirach swords have full-sized blades, these recurved blades tend to be shorter. Preferred as a melee weapon? (Some of these certainly don't strike me as merely being ceremonial...)

Regards,
Kai
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Old 2nd April 2016, 09:27 AM   #13
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Wink

Here's another example; wootz blade:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=991

Regards,
Kai
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Old 2nd April 2016, 10:33 AM   #14
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I think the last blade is a local imitation of Ottoman Yataghan. Clumsy, but even with yataghan- inspired plates at the ricasso.

Indians had forward-curving blades galore from times immemorial, especially down South, an area untouched by the Macedonian Greeks. Also, conflating Greek Kopis and Egyptian Khopesh is a stretch: blade configurations were distinctly dissimilar. Kopis was yataghan-like with the edge on the concave side, while Khopesh was a "sickle sword" with sharpened convex side.

Kopis might have mutated into Iberian Falcata, but Khopesh was endemic to Egypt and had nothing to do with any other pattern, except for the Assyrian Sappara. But these two fought each other like crazy, so sharing weapon patterns is not a surprise.
In this vein, I find especially amusing the descriptions of Laz Bichaq , a short-lived 19 century device of Pontic Greeks and Muslim Georgians, as a direct descendant of Egyptian Khopesh. We are talking 3-4 thousand years gap with no similar configuration of blade anywhere else! :-)
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Old 2nd April 2016, 12:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
By using a term " kopis-influenced" are we assuming or asserting that Indian forward-leaning swords are descending from Greek Kopis?
I have on knowledge of this except what I see being discussed on various forums. Maybe the term should be "kopis type" and not "kopis influenced"?

Quote:
Kopis type blades of the Indian subcontinent. Adapted from Phillip Rawson's The Indian Sword.
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Old 2nd April 2016, 12:51 PM   #16
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I guess it would be helpful to have an actual Greek kopis here for comparison.

Quote:
A Greek Kopis sword (from excavations) known as “Falcata” in the western Mediterranean. The Greek Hoplite sword was double-edged. The blade was wider in the middle of its length so that the weight was concentrated to this point. The Greek sword was used equally for perforation of the enemy.


The two below are supposedly in the Met, labled as "Iron Machaira (sword)
Greek, 5th-4th century B.C", the last one is from a museum in Barcelona, labled as an "Iberian falcata".
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Last edited by estcrh : 2nd April 2016 at 01:07 PM.
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