The Russian Shasqua Saber
The Shasqua Saber also called the Shashka or Cossack sword is a special kind of sabre; a very sharp, single-edged, single-handed, and guardless sword. In appearance, the shashka was midway between a full sabre and a straight sword. It had a slightly curved blade, and could be effective for both slashing and thrusting.
The blade was either hollowed or fullered. There was no guard, but a large, curved pommel. The hilt was frequently highly decorated. It was carried in a wooden scabbard that enclosed part of the hilt. It was worn with the cutting edge to the rear, opposite to the sabre.
The shashka originated among the mountain tribes of the Caucasus in the 12th or 13th century. Later it was used by most of the Russian and Ukrainian Cossacks. So there are two styles of shashka: the Caucasian shashka and the Cossack shashka.
The absence of the guard is inherited from the original Caucasian construction, in which the shashka is nearly completely hidden in the scabbard, together with the hilt. The hilt is slightly curved down, thus providing an additional leverage for pulling the shashka and for additional force by wrist action. The handle of the sabre was crafted so as to have a built-in pommel and possibly a small guard, which usually extended to only one side of the hilt.
Like most medieval and then imperial Russian weaponry of the time, often the shashka and its scabbard were very ornately decorated, with gold and silver engravings, embedded gems and stones placed into, and figures carved out of or into, the hilts. The shashka has the feel of a European sabre and was notable for its sharpness.