18th century Genoa was a hotbed of violence and intrigue. It was a city-state republic controlled by several powerful families who fought for control after the failed Austrian siege of 1747 which led to the loss of Corsica in 1768. Power was traded through secret agreements and alliances and preserved through fear, brutality, and assassinations. As assassinations stemmed from power struggles, an element of brutality to instill fear in surviving opposition was utilized. This is the sword of a henchman whose job it was to deliver those elements and carry out assassinations. It has a 22” cutlass from the blade which derives from Genoa’s maritime culture. In fact, short swords were favored throughout the Italian peninsula. The horn grip is carved as a Moor, with the head fully modeled and decorated in bone and brass piques. The guard is shaped to embrace the first two fingers for better purchase, like a thumb ring, and only partially defensive. See il coltello Genovese storie de lame di armi proibite di caruggi,(the Genoese knife stories of blades of forbidden weapons of “alleyways”), Andrea Buti, p.363 for another example.