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Pair of pistols

Gold | 9.2 x 3.8 cm; 52.0 cm (Length) (whole object) | RCIN 62832

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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  • A pair of Turkish flintlock pistols encased in gold; round barrel chased with foliate decoration; muzzle encased in pierced/chased foliate ornamentation; bulbous pommel with cone-shaped finial; the whole richly chased with foliate scrolls. With ornate ramrod.

    In the collection of George IV in the Armoury at Carlton House, where they are recorded with the note, 'These Beautiful gold Pistols did belong to His late Majesty George the Third. Brought from Augusta Lodge Windsor. March 28th 1822.'

    These firearms are possibly the 'Pair of Gold Pistols, the Stocks and Barrels solid Gold' presented to George III  by the Ottoman Ambassador, Yusuf Agah Efendi, on behalf of Sultan Selim III in January 1795. Efendi, the first permanent Ottoman ambassador to Britain, arrived in London in December 1793 but was not able to present the accompanying gifts until early 1795 due to an eight-month delay in their arrival as well as the King's absence from London.  An audience with George III finally took place in January 1795, at which time Efendi presented guns, horses and textiles to the King and other members of the royal family. Efendi was frequently referred to as the 'Turkish Ambassador'.  (Philological Society of London, The European Magazine and Long Review, Vol. 27, Jan-June 1795, p. 137).

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    9.2 x 3.8 cm; 52.0 cm (Length) (whole object)

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