Markos Botsaris was a hero in the Greek war for independance from the Ottoman empire. He is depicted here, possibly during a famous night battle on 8 August 1823 against an enemy camp in Kefalovrison, near Karpenisi. The Suliots created total panic and confusion among the enemy, killing hundreds of them. Botsaris was shot while trying to climb a wall near the tent of Mustaes pasha. His dying words were My brothers I die happy. Stay faithfull to God and to our fatherland Go and finish what we have started'.
The Greek war of independence started in 1821 and continued through 1827 when the Russians, British and French attempted to intervene. Their attempts failed and ended in the near destruction of the Turkish-Egyptian fleet in the Bay of Navarino in October of that year. Sultan Mahmud II defied the odds and proclaimed a holy war. Russia sent troops into the Balkans and engaged the Ottoman army in yet another Russo-Turkish war. Fighting continued until 1829 when, with Russian troops at the gates of Constantinople, the Sultan accepted Greek independence and signed the Treaty of Adrianople.
A box of about 1830, by I. Kaltykov, Moscow, Nielloed with a scene of Russian officers with a Turkish prisoner of war is illustrated in Alexander von Solodkoff, Russian Gold and Silver page 99, plate 107, upper right.