Place of Origin: North India
Date: Circa 1800
Overall Length: 850mm
A rare Indian sosun patah sword. The name is Persian, Arabic and Urdu, and means ‘lily leaf’ which describes the shape of the blade. It is also known as the kopis blade. This example is what Rawson (1968) refers to as a sosun patah of Islamic form (the Rajput form having a more angled blade with a wider belly). Rawson claims that the sosun patah is directly influenced by the Turkish yataghan.
The elegant downward curved T-section blade is forged from fine wootz steel. These highly sought-after and important swords are often forged from the best quality steel. This example shows dark (kirk) wootz with contrasting silver and black circles and spirals.
The slender iron hilt is covered in fine gold koftgari in a highly unusual arrangement of stylised swastikas overlaid with two concentric circles against a dotted background. A symbol with strong connotations of good luck in both Hinduism and Buddhism, the use of it in Indian ironwork decorations is highly unusual, and has possibly been overlooked as Islamic-style arabesques which are commonly used in northern Indian, particularly Punjabi, decorations. A breastplate from Punjab or Lahore that shows a swastika with twin concentric circles is believed to be in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, but at the time of writing a reference number is not available.
The contemporary wooden scabbard is covered with ornately tooled black leather and is fitted with a decorated brass chape.
A sosun patah of some importance is illustrated by Robert Elgood in his book on the Jaipur Royal collection, Arms & Armour at the Jaipur Court (2015), p.110–113, no.78. The sword’s extensive inscriptions suggest that it belonged to Mughal Emperor of India, Arungzeb (1618-1707), who gave it to a court official by the name of Hamiduddin Khan.