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Ex personal collection
Algerian Shamshir
Unbroken published provenance
Rhino horn hilt
Dated silver fittings
Dark wootz blade
Carried from the Bey of Algeria's palace in 1830

Ex personal collection Algerian Ottoman Kilij Kilig Kilic Shamshir sabre Unbroken published provenance Rhino horn hilt Dated silver fittings Dark wootz blade lame Carried from the Bey of Algeria's palace in 1830 www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


A very good Algerian Ottoman Shamshir with provenance.

The sword measures just under 96cms long in its scabbard when measured tip to tip in a straight line. Out of its scabbard it is 92.5cms long with a blade length of 79cms from the tip to the centre of the quillon block.
The hilt is Rhino horn grip slabs pinned to the tang and separated by a fluted gilt silver grip strap and pierced with a gilt silver lanyard hole through the pommel.
The quillon block with its elongated quillons is solid silver with engraved edges.
The blade, although dark in places and with light pitting to the tip, is a very fine quality Wootz blade. The surfaces clearly show a very fine, small and tight pattern throughout its surfaces.
The forte contains several Quran verses applied in gold, now darked with age and worn in places but still very readable.
The scabbard remains in very good condition throughout with only a minor split and loss to the throat as is often the case with ottoman swords.
All silver mountings to the scabbard are decorated with engraved surfaces. Pictures, cartouches and script can be seen within these engravings as can remains of gilt wash.
the drag contains a signature and date to its inside edge, dating the swords dress to 1824, six years prior to the invasion of Algeria and the Palace of the Bey of Algiers from where this sword was carried from.

Until its purchase by us, the sword had remained within Blair castle in Scotland and was the property of Captain William Fordyce Blair (1805-1888) whilst attached to the French forces during the Invasion of Algiers in 1830.

A wonderful sword, of high quality and an unbroken line of provenance from its capture in 1830, and also datable to 1824.

Notations of his Naval career are below.

BLAIR. (Commander, 1841. f-p., 18; h-p., 11.)

William Fordyce Blair, born in 1807, is eldest surviving son of the late Col. Wm. Blair, of Blair, co. Ayr, M.P. for that shire, by Magdalene, daughter of the late John Fordyce, Esq., of Ayton, co. Berwick, for many years Commissioner of the Woods and Forests; and younger brother of the late Capts. Hamilton Blair and John Chas. Blair, R.N. He is the representative of a family which has been of high standing in the co. Ayr for the last six centuries.

This officer entered the Royal Naval College 5 March, 1818; and embarked, in July, 1820, as Midshipman, on board the Rochfort 80, Capt. Chas. Marsh Schomberg, bearing the flag of Sir Graham Moore on the Mediterranean station, where he shortly afterwards witnessed the taking of Naples by the Austrians, and was present in the Cambrian 46, at Scio and Smyrna, during the Turkish massacre of the Greeks, many of whom were saved in the boats of that frigate. After an attachment of a few months to the Diamond 46, Capt. Lord Napier, he served during part of the Burmese war on board the Liffey 50, Capt. Thos. Coe; and, on his subsequent transference to the Java 52, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Hall Gage, he appears to have been much employed in boat operations against the Malay pirates. Having passed his examination in Sept. 1826, he became successively Mate, in Oct. 1827, and March, 1828, of the Tamar 26, Capt. Jas. John Gordon Bremer, and Blonde 46, Capt. Edmund Lyons. He took part, about the latter period, in the blockade of Navarin, and in the following Oct. was employed on shore in constructing batteries, and otherwise co-operating with the French army during the siege of Morea Castle. Being promoted to a Lieutenancy, 4 March, 1829, in the Wasp 18, Capt. Thos. Edw. Hoste, Mr. Blair was next for some time occupied in watching the Russian fleet at the mouth of the Dardanells; after which, he united with the French in their operations against Algiers, and was further active in the extirpation of piracy from the Archipelago. While subsequently attached, from 1 Dec. 1830, until May, 1835, to the Britannia 120, bearing the flag of Sir Pulteney Malcolm, we find him variously employed in the Mediterranean in reference to the affairs of Greece and Turkey, and off Lisbon during the Pedro and Miguel disputes - independently of a short time spent in blockading the Dutch coast. He was reappointed, on 5 April, 1836, to the Britannia, as Flag-Lieutenant, pro tem, to Sir Philip Durham at Portsmouth, but was superseded in March, 1837, and has since been on half-pay. His last commission bears date 23 Nov. 1841.

Commander Blair is a Magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant for co. Ayr. He married, 22 July, 1840, Caroline Isabella, youngest daughter of the late John Sprot, Esq., of London, by whom he has issue two daughters. Agents - Goode and Lawrence.

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