An early Indian all steel Patah or Gauntlet sword. Peculiar to the indian subcontinent, these broadswords had a protective gauntlet or armguard of steel, the grip being set at right angles to the blade. The steel gauntlet on this one is nicely decorated with engraving, the edges are reinforced with applied steel and there are other decorative elements throughout. As well as a grip which is set across the inside of the fist part of the gauntlet, there is also a steel hinged strap which holds the arm rigid to the patah and enables it to be swung with control. The blade is of good steel with some old reinforcing and contemporary field repair, clearly a well used piece. Patah swordsmen were specially trained in the use of this fiercesome weapon, and could be extremely accurate with this somewhat unsual sword form. It dates to the 17th/18th century and probably comes from South India or the Deccan region.