A rare iron RULER MACE (tie che) from 19th century China. The Chinese had numerous unusual and actually weird weapons and the mace group has more than its share. A mace with measure scales is quite rare. This is normally carried by an itinerant fortune teller (usually a taoist monk) travelling the jiang-hu (think of the wild west). The ruler is one of the measurement implements of his trade, along with his the feng shui books, compass, abacus & sometimes sword.
For a skillful fighter, this is a very effective and powerful weapon. Its weight and superior leverage (medium length) easily parries a sword or pole arm, and once inside, a quick powerful blow can be struck to disable the opponent. For example, a blow to the forearm will momentarily paralyze it. Two hands can be used to smash armor or to deliver devastating thrusts (with either end) to the solar plexus for example. It is also a civilian weapon which does not signify aggressive intent. At various times in the history of China, despots forbade civilians to carry arms. Various forms of maces skate under the edicts.
25 1/2" total length. No deep nicks on the edge, some roughness if you run your finger along the length. Original patina on the wooden handle. If you like unusual weapons, this one truly fits the bill. Just the thing if your business is to divine the future or if you need an unobstrusive defensive weapon..