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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world

Turkey

Pair of pistols

RCIN 62924

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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On 10 March 1812, the Prince Regent (later George IV) was sent ‘a set of Albanian arms’ for his extensive military collection. This pair of pistols may have formed part of the gift, for they were added to the Armoury at Carlton House the following month.

Ottoman forces had controlled Albanian territories to a greater or lesser degree since the fifteenth century, and exercised a considerable influence on local cultural and religious life. The Balkans became an important gun-producing region for the Ottoman army, and Albanians of all classes were well versed in the use of firearms. These pistols, with their silver-gilt stocks and foliate motifs reflect many elements of Ottoman weapons.