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Welcome to Bargrave's travels and collection. From here you can explore locations from Bargrave's travels and browse selected items from his "Cabinets of Curiosities" by selecting Explore Travels or by selecting Explore Collection.


Ottoman dominance of North Africa had been largely established during the first half of the 16th century. Algeria was brought under the control of the Empire by Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa and his brother Aruj in 1517. They established Algeria's modern boundaries in the north and made its coast a base for the Ottoman corsairs. Piracy had been conducted in this region since the Crusades. Under the Ottomans, however, the corsairs' use of Algiers for privateering increased significantly and reached a peak during 17th century. The corsairs were able to seize shipping from as far afield as Iceland.

General image of Dey  B60

Dey of Algiers

Repeated attempts were made by the leading European powers to stamp out piracy and ransoming but with limited success. Consequently, diplomatic missions like Bargrave's were periodically sent to negotiate for the release of prisoners. In his collection catalogue Bargrave spends some time describing the negotiation process to obtain the release of the prisoners with the local ruler, the Dey of Algiers.

Nevertheless, Bargrave was still able to collect some objects from the region during his stay including the slippers, seen here, 'such as the great ones - the Bashaes, the Agaas, the Yabashawes, and Bulgabashaes - wear at Algiers' along with a live chameleon which sadly died on the voyage back to England.

Red Leather Slippers

North African Red Leather Slippers

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