Italian manufacture (Veneto) ca. 1650 Steel, silver, wood The name of this distinctive sword is derived from its use by the Dalmatian mercenaries in the service of the Republic of Venice as bodyguards to the doge. Schiavona is a reference to their Slavic origins. It was in use from the end of the 1500s until the surrender of the Venetian republic to Napoleon in 1797.
"This sword is distinguished by the form of its basket hilt made up of many intersecting bars or branches that constitute the cross-guard. Classified as a true broadsword, the double-edged blade was wider than civilian rapiers and was employed as a cut and thrust military weapon. Although originating as a war sword, its effectiveness made it popular also with wealthy civilians. In the 1600s, elaborately decorated examples such as this one were produced and worn for gala occasions."