This particular pistol bears a zero prefix serial number (012) which is indicative of what is known in the S&W field as a "Club Gun". S&W assembled firearms specifically for prizes and gifts to notable shooters of their day. Many of these purpose built guns were sent to shooting clubs to be presented to the winners of matches, hence the name "Club Gun". It is speculated that across the whole of S&W production only some 750 guns were made for these purposes according to Nahas and Supica on page 336 of the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson", of these 750, some 50 were made especially for the Wesson family. The accompanying factory letter confirms the zero prefix serial, 10 inch barrel in .22 caliber, blue finish and black hard rubber target stocks. The pistol was shipped on June 12, 1899 and delivered to Walter Alvord of Springfield, MA. At this time no additional information related to Mr. Alvord has been discovered but he is likely a descendant of William E. Alvord who was a S&W superintendent.
Fine, retaining 50% plus original blue finish with a smooth gray patina on the balance, a number of handling marks and light grind marks ahead of the front sight. Patterns of original case colors remain on the trigger guard, and 90% original case colors remain on the hammer. The grips are very good with a chip at the top (left panel), minor handling marks and crisp checkering overall. Mechanically needs adjustment; the trigger spring is out of order and the hammer fails to hold at full cock. An example of a very scarce documented zero prefix serialized "club gun" missing from even the most advanced collections.
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