Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1255: Tiffany Smith & Wesson 32 Safety Hammerless Revolver

Auction Date: September 12, 2020

Extremely Rare Deluxe Tiffany Embellished Smith & Wesson .32 Safety Hammerless 1st Model Revolver with Tiffany Paris Pipe Case and Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $40,000

Extremely Rare Deluxe Tiffany Embellished Smith & Wesson .32 Safety Hammerless 1st Model Revolver with Tiffany Paris Pipe Case and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: 32 Safety Hammerless
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 32 S&W
Barrel: 3 inch solid rib
Finish: blue
Grip: horn/silver
Item Views: 2105
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 214
Class: Antique

From the 1880s to the early 1900s, the self-described “American multinational luxury jewelry and specialty retailer” Tiffany & Co. created spectacular and expensive highly embellished deluxe handguns and rifles for America’s leading firearms manufacturers such as Colt, Winchester and Smith & Wesson. The “rich and elaborate decorations” on handguns alone set a customer back $50.00 to $300.00 or about $1,400.00 to $8,600.00 in today’s money. The number of surviving Tiffany firearms remain unknown, but studies clearly show that S&W benefited the most from Tiffany’s world renowned master craftsmanship. Tiffany S&Ws are arguably the rarest and most desirable of the late 19th century American high art firearms, and offered here is one of those rare prizes in firearms art collecting that help define a private or public collection. The horn grips on this revolver feature fine floral scroll engraved silver lattice work. The bottom of the left panel is signed “TIFFANY & Co. PARIS.” Tiffany's first store in Paris opened in 1850. The exquisite Tiffany full coverage relief etching consists of a vine and leaf motif on a contrasting background. Very little of the surfaces are not embellished. Even the grip safety did not escape the etching. The etching exemplifies the “timeless beauty and superlative craftsmanship” the world's premier jeweler has delivered to its customers since established in 1837. Our claims that all of the work was done by Tiffany are bolstered by the fact that the etching and silver grip lattice work are nearly identical, right down to the inclusion of cornucopias. The front sight is German silver, the trigger is casehardened, and the remaining surfaces are bright high luster blue. Matching serial numbers are on the butt, cylinder and barrel. The accompanying factory letter lists this fine and highly sought after piece of 19th century firearms art with a 3 inch barrel, blue finish and checkered black hard rubber grips when shipped on December 23, 1890 and delivered to Von Lengerke & Antoine Co. of New York City, New York and Paris, France. Comes with a period correct pipe case. The red silk lining on the interior of the lid features a Tiffany & Co. Paris label in gold. The bottom of the case is lined in red wine velvet.

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine as highly embellished by the renowned Tiffany & Co. The revolver retains 97% original bright blue finish with scattered light thinning on the balance. Traces of original case colors remain on the trigger. The silver lattice on the grips has an attractive aged appearance. Mechanically excellent. The case is fine with some minor handling/storage marks and typical high spot wear on the lining. Here is your chance to acquire an authentic Tiffany Paris S&W with correct Tiffany Paris case! It would be a welcome addition to any S&W or firearms art collection. Provenance: Dr. Gerald Klaz collection.

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