The Schiavona was a Renaissance sword that became popular in Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Stemming from the 16th-century sword of the Balkan mercenaries who formed the bodyguard of the Doge of Venice, the name came from the fact that the guard consisted largely of the Schiavoni, Istrian and Dalmatian Slavs.
The terms "broadsword" and "backsword" were not used in the 17th and 18th centuries and are of Victorian invention, referring to double-edged and single-edged basket-hilted swords respectively.
Both terms were introduced to distinguish these cut and thrust swords from the narrower rapier and smallsword.
By the 17th century there were regional variations of basket-hilts: the Walloon hilt, the Sinclair hilt, schiavona, mortuary sword, Scottish broadsword, and some types of eastern European pallasches.
Classified as a true broadsword, this war sword had a wider blade than its contemporary civilian rapiers.
Portrait of Donald Mc Bane, a Scottish fencing master, from Donald Mc Bane's The Expert Swordsman's Companion (1728).
This image portrays Mc Bane in the "Inside Guard" with a broadsword, while the table next to him has both broadswords and smallswords.
Weighing in at around 1.1 kg, this blade was useful for both cut and thrust.
It was popular among mercenary soldiers and wealthy civilians alike; examples decorated with gilding and precious stones were imported by the upper classes to be worn as a combination of fashion accessory and defensive weapon.