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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

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


Shamshir (sabre), scabbard, bi-knife and sword belt circa 1794 - 1800

RCIN 62883

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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According to Sir Gore Ouseley, British Ambassador to Persia, George IV had ‘the finest Collection of Ancient Persian Swords in the world'. This sabre (shamshir) formed part of that collection. On the back edge of the blade are a pair of narrow channels containing seed pearls. A total of 80 emeralds and 69 pearls are set into the colourful enamel mounts.

The blade bears a dedication to 'es-Sultan Aga Muhammad Shah Qajar', the Shah who established the Qajar dynasty, reigning from 1794–7. Ownership of the sword to Mir Path 'Ali Khan Talpur (1783–1801), and his descendants, the Amirs of Sindh, in turn presented it to George IV in 1822.