A fine Chinese straightsword blade, of typical Qing form with a rather wide profile.
53.2 cm / 20.9 inch
39.3 cm / 15.5 inch
Base 9 mm
Middle 8.5 mm
Base 20 mm
China, Qing dynasty
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As a non-military weapon, not much was written about Chinese tiě chǐ (鐵尺) or "iron ruler" style maces but their appearance on the antique market suggests their use was fairly widespread in certain circles.
They probably served as weapons used by guards and security personnel that aimed at disabling, but preferably not killing their opponent if not necessary.
Their name derives off the fact that the rod is often shaped like the classic Chinese ruler. As a weapon, the rectangular cross-section provides the option to hit with the flat or perform a more damaging hit with the edge.
A classic example. The flat, wide rod has a center ridge on one side, flat on the other. The handle consists of a thick tang with a heavy iron bolster on either side. The handle would have probably been wrapped with cord over fabric at some point. The heavy handle provides it with a fairly quick balance, despite the considerable weight.
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A rather well-made example of its type.
Used to move imperial orders from the emperor’s quarters to the recipient.
Made of heavy silk with gilt copper alloy mounts.
With heavy pierced silver mounts in with archaic dragon designs.
Most likely used by the multi-cultural crews of pirate fleets that roamed the South China seas.