Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1179: S&W Double Action Revolver with Tiffany Sterling Silver Grip

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Smith & Wesson .38 Safety Hammerless 2nd Model Double Action Revolver with Detached Highly Desirable Tiffany Sterling Silver Grip and Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,500 - $8,500

Smith & Wesson .38 Safety Hammerless 2nd Model Double Action Revolver with Detached Highly Desirable Tiffany Sterling Silver Grip and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: 38 Safety Hammerless
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 38 S&W
Barrel: 4 inch solid rib
Finish: nickel
Grip: silver
Item Views: 490
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 135
Class: Antique

The accompanying factory letter states the revolver was shipped with a 4 inch barrel, nickel finish and checkered black hard rubber grips on March 10, 1890 and delivered to Meacham Arms Co. of St. Louis. Matching serial numbers are on the butt, cylinder, and barrel. Comes with a highly sought after sterling silver grip by famed retailer jeweler Tiffany & Co. Self-described as an “American multinational luxury jewelry and specialty retailer,” Tiffany & Co. created some the most spectacular and expensive highly embellished deluxe handguns and rifles from the late 1880s to the early 1900s for American’s leading firearms manufacturers including Colt, Winchester and most notably Smith & Wesson. These highly stylized arms fully embodied the classic Art Nouveau style, as clearly demonstrated on this S&W revolver grip. “Revolvers of the most improved types, mounted in silver, carved ivory, gold, etc. with rich and elaborate decorations,” proclaimed the Tiffany Blue Book catalog, would set a customer back $50.00 to $300.00. Although the number of surviving Tiffany S&Ws remains unknown, they are arguably the rarest and most desirable of the late 19th century American high art firearms. The largest public display of Tiffany embellished 19th century arms can be viewed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Gallery 372. The lion’s share of the display was donated and/or sold by Dr. Gerald Klaz. Tiffany marked each piece they made on special order. This grip is signed “TIFFANY & CO./10078M7653/STERLING.” The numbers refer to the pattern and order and the letter “M” denotes products which were made from 1873 to 1891. The grip is decorated with flush inlaid scrollwork. Provenance: The Dr. Gerald Klaz Collection

Rating Definition:

The revolver is excellent, retaining 95% original nickel plating with some scattered flaking. 95% original case colors remain on the trigger. Mechanically excellent. The unattached Tiffany grip is exceptionally fine with the silver having an attractive age darkened appearance and nearly all of the inlays remain with some scattered pitting. An experienced Gunsmith is required to attached and secure the desirable Tiffany grip to the revolver.

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