Called a patta, this is an unusual, interesting sword developed by the Marathas. It has a gauntlet hilt and a long, double-edged, flexible blade. The gauntlet hilt covers the arm up to the elbow. A thin steel strap inside the hilt's upper end anchors it to the forearm. The sword is gripped by a crossbar inside the hilt, which is padded so that the hand fits inside comfortably.
The long length of the blade makes the patta difficult to wield. Only expert swordsmen with strong forearms and upper-arm muscles can use it. The patta is well suited for horsemen. As the blade is long and flexible, it can be easily used sitting on a horse. If it hits a hard and resistant object it merely bends, thus, preventing the rider from being unhorsed.
The hilt of this patta has designs in relief, with a pair of lions in combat and foliated patterns all over. Most Maratha swords have similar simple designs in relief, which indicates that the Marathas were more concerned about the functionality of their swords rather than their appearance.
Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection
Arms and Armour
Length: 124.5 cm