In excellent condition, it has a heavy, 22-inch blade over 3.5 inches wide.
Piracy has been a constant problem along the China coast and throughout Southeast Asia. Early in the 1800s a huge confederation of pirates ruled the coast, extorting "taxes," robbing cargoes and selling slaves. Their protection racket made the 20th century Chicago gangsters look like amateurs.
When caught by Chinese government forces, which was rare, pirates were quickly beheaded as a lesson to their fellows. It was more likely that British or European naval patrols would catch them and turn them over to the Chinese for disposal.
Here is a remarkable example of a Chinese executioner's sword of the period. In excellent condition, it has a heavy, 22-inch blade over 3.5 inches wide. It was taken as a war souvenir by the Japanese probably in the 1930s, and was surrendered to American forces at Koshien, Japan in 1945. It is accompanied by 2 original photos of the execution of the Namoa Pirates on the beach at Hong Kong in 1891.