A Sosun Pattah with 'Nav Durga' blade
North-West India – 19th century
Materials: Steel, Iron, Gold, Wood, Velvet, Brass
The Sosun Pattah, a type only found in India, is also known as ‘Lilly Leaf’ sword due to the elegant shape of the blade. The hilt of this example is from Islamic origin, but with Hindu inspired blade and features the Indo-Islamic hilt. The construction, weight and shape of the blade makes it perfectly suitable for slashing and chopping. A type which was well praised among the Jaipur court and considered of significant importance.
The sword features an all iron hilt known as the ‘Karan Shahi’ type with flattened quillons and disc shaped pommel. The koftgari decoration is typical for the Northern regions of India and the sunbeam-pattern depicted on the disc pommel is an important feature for the Rajput who proclaim to descent from the sun. These hilts are commonly referred to as the Jodhpur type.
Of ‘Kopis‘ form referred to in Urdu as ‘Lily leaf’ sword. Depicting the nine goddesses of ‘Nav durga’ with their names in Devanagari script. The ‘Nav Durga’ or ‘Navadurga’ are annually celebrated at the Hindu ‘Navratri’ festival, which is held twice a year to celebrate the start of spring and autumn. The latter is mostly celebrated among Hindus. Each deity form represents a day of this festival with ‘Bhairava’ on the tenth and last night. The throned goddesses are surrounded by cartouches divided by pillars with elephant heads. On the reverse the cartouches are divided by pillars holding bowls with three figures.
The blade is numbered in the following order:
– शैलपुत्री ‘Shailputri’
– ब्रह्मचारिणी ‘Brahmcharini’
– कृष्माण्डा ‘Krishmanda’
– स्कंदमाता ‘Skandamata’
– कात्यायनी ‘Katyayani’
– सिद्धिदात्री ‘Siddhidatri’
– भैरव ‘Bhairava’
The reverse depicts the following order:
– अंबिका ‘Ambika’
– बहूचरा ‘Bahuchara’
– कालिका ‘Kalika’
– मरांडी ‘Martandi’
– त्रिपुरमुखी ‘Tripurmukhi’
– षोडशी ‘Shodhashi’
– भुवनेश्वरी ‘Bhuvaneshwari’
– आशापुरा ‘Ashapura’
– तारा ‘Tara’
– भैरव ‘Bhairava’
The blade was finished in the original Northern style with high polished shining cutting edge ending in the tip. The chiseling comes to life in a darkened etched background. The forte is decorated with two mirrored tigers divided by a motif which follows the langets.
Consisting of two wooden sheets covered in blue velvet with a gold wired band covering the seem. The chape on the scabbard is made of gilded brass. Two gold colored fabric tassels are attached to the scabbards mouth.
Conclusion: A scarce type of ceremonial sword with heavy sharpened blade suitable for sacrificial use. Overall good condition with minor ware. This example can be considered one of the best in its kind due to the deep chiseled relief in comparison to later superficial or even etched blades in combination with a fine damascened hilt and excellent conditioned scabbard.
Condition: Very good condition, some light ware due to use and age. Koftgari is 95% in excellent condition and complete with original scabbard.
Blade length: 81.5cm
Blade base thickness: 5mm
Scabbard length: 83.8cm
Total length: 95cm
– Davinder Reddy’s ‘Arms & Armour of India, Nepal & Sri Lanka’ p.203 and 233.
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