Medieval Cat's Head Pommel Schiavonesca
Venetian, circa 1480 AD A long-bladed (104 cm") sword of the schiavonesca type; the blade parallel-sided with long triangular point and rounded tip, flat-section at the upper third with a deep central fuller, elliptical-section at the lower end; the guard flat across the blade with scooped lower edge, with D-section arms recurved horizontally; the grip with later leather covering and helical foundation-moulded band; the pommel of cat's head type, rectangular with scrolled upper edge and integral central boss to both faces; on the upper blade four punched marks including a fleur-de-lys in outline on the left face, a 'P' in the fuller and two further marks in the fuller below. 1.5 kg, 123 cm overall (48 1/2") From an important West Country collection; from the Chinaglia collection, Italy. Schiavonesca swords were used by Dalmatian mercenaries serving in the armies of the Venetian state. The cat's head pommel is found on surviving examples of cross-hilted swords of the 14th century which can be traced into the hands of Slavonic soldiers stationed in southern Europe employed in the armies of Spain and Venice. These hilt forms developed into the later Schiavona hilt with a full basket developing from the crossguard, knuckle-bow and finger-rings.
Very fine condition.