Beginning in the 13th or 14th century, swords were almost universally fitted with a so-called chappe
In the 14th to 15th century, many more elaborate forms were tried. A feature of such late medieval forms is the cusp or écusson, a protrusion of the crossguard in the center where it is fitted on the blade. Also from the 14th century, the leather chappe is sometimes replaced with a metal sheet. An early example of this is a sword dated to c. 1320-40 kept at the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow. A later example is the "Monza sword" of Estore Visconti (early 15th century), where the rain-guard is of silver and decorated with a floral motif.
After the end of the Middle Ages, crossguards became more elaborate, forming first quillons and then, through the addition of guard branches, the basket hilt, which offered more protection to the unarmored hand.