Boxer Rebellion period C.1899-1901. 37” length with 24” curved wedge section blade engraved with Buddhist foliate motifs. Surface textured from storage, evidently in straw. Small iron guard to position the hand and prevent slipping onto the blade, but of no defensive function. Two hand hilt with ring pommel wrapped in a cord. These were sometimes further wrapped in red cloth with the end as streamers. Boxer executioners visited villages, with the red hilt of their swords raised on the back, ferreting out foreigners, Christians and those perceived too sympathetic to them, who were rounded up and decapitated for all to see. The very volume of their work dictated that they must act quickly and move on leaving carnage and a message in blood. An estimates 100,000-300,000 Boxers were eventually defeated by150,000 Chinese and European forces.