The Serenissima Rapier from Arms & Armor is a classic style of early complex hilted sword. These could be called side swords or rapiers. As the 15th Century came to a close we see the popularity of single-handed swords with additions to their hilts such as fore rings and knuckle bows become more popular. Providing protection for the users hand in addition to gauntlets. It also allowed the craftspeople of the time to experiment with design and decoration of the hilts with added bars and decorative elements.
Our Serenissima rapier, named after La Serenissima the traditional name for the Venetian Republic, is one of these early style of hilts with clean lines and smooth surfaces on the hilt. It is mounted on a sturdy narrow blade that today we identify as rapier like though in its day would have been just thought of as a sword.
Combat with similar style swords via Marazzo.
This style of sword became widespread across Europe in the first half of the 16th century, but many of the early examples are associated with the Venetian Republic and their wide trading network. This was a dynamic time in the history of sword design and use with many influences and seems to have been centered around the northern mediterranean. The core that would become the swept hilted rapier can be seen in this style of hilt as well it’s the simple cross hilted knightly sword predecessor.