Maratha Pata Gauntlet Sword
The Maratha Pata or gauntlet sword is believed to have been used by expert swordsmen and uniquely suited to horsemen. The steel gauntlet covers the hand, wrist, and some of the forearm. The sword is held by employing two mechanisms within the gauntlet - the hand is inserted into the gauntlet past a serpentine floating metal cross-bar, up to the mid-forearm (between the wrist and elbow), then grasping a floating metal pipe surrounding a rigid center cross-bar, the hand making a fist around the floating pipe. The flex of the forearm muscle and the grip of the hand make this fit very snug. Padding would have originally been lining the inner gauntlet and perhaps a glove was also worn. This sword becomes an effective extension of the arm. Blade is quite fexible and it is believed they are like this as to bend when give striking a more solid object, minimizing the possibility of unhorseing the rider wielding the sword.
This Pata most likely dates from the 18th century. Overall length is ~50"; blade length is ~38".