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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 62832

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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The first permanent Ottoman Ambassador to Britain, Yusuf Agah Efendi (1744–1824), may have given these pistols to George III in 1795. Representing Sultan Selim III, Efendi arrived in London in December 1793, but the sultan’s gifts were held up in transit and did not arrive for a further eight months. An official audience at St James’s Palace finally took place in January 1795, at which time Efendi presented jewel-encrusted guns, Arabian horses and silk textiles to the king and other members of the royal family. The ambassador’s two-mile procession to the audience was intended to be as impressive as possible, and comprised 20 carriages, each with six horses.