The schiavona is a distinctly Venetian sword carried for centuries by the Dalmatian
mercenaries hired by the Doge of Venice. The earliest examples had a simple cruciform
hilt which evolved progressively to the ornate intricate basket hilt of the 18th C. The one
feature that remained constant throughout its period of use is the distinctive cat’s head
pommel, the earliest examples being of iron with later pommels of brass or bronze. This
example from the mid-17th C features a possibly earlier broad 35 1/8″ double-edged blade
of hexagonal-section with short central fuller and armorer’s mark stamped on both sides.
Iron basket hilt of typical style formed of flattened bars with incised line decor, straight
reverse quillon with small button finial, thumb ring on reverse. Brass cat’s head pommel
with small ring attaching to the upper end of the guard; original leather-wrapped grip with
twisted brass wire. Overall length 41″. Metal lightly pitted with a few patches of heavier
pitting on the blade; age patina.