Brass hilt with heavy recurved guard and checkered wood grip with brass ferrules, good dark patina throughout. 13” single edged blade of very heavy wedge section. Some scattered pitting as expected for maritime use. The Yangtze River served to bring commercial good and valuables from China’s interior. Its topography provided many natural hiding and ambush opportunities for pirates which were rampant in the 19th century. In the 1860’s and 70’s American merchant ships were prominent on the lower(about 700 miles) of the Yangtze requiring gunboat protection, but leaving smaller Chinese commercial craft to the mercy of the pirates.