Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Smith and Wesson .44 Double-Action Revolver for George Jay Gould (1864–1923), serial no. 23402, with Case and Cleaning Brush

Manufacturer:
Smith & Wesson (American, established 1852)
Decorator:
Tiffany & Co. (1837–present)
Date:
ca. 1889
Geography:
Massachusetts; New York, New York
Culture:
American, Springfield, Massachusetts and New York
Medium:
Steel, silver, ivory, wood, paper, textile, leather, gold, copper alloy, iron, silver substitute, fiber
Dimensions:
L. 10 7/16 in. (26.5 cm); L. of barrel 5 in. (12.7 cm); Cal. .44 in. (11.2 mm); Wt. 2 lb. 8 oz. (1134 g); case; H. 2 9/16 in. (6.5 cm); W. 12 5/16 in. (31.3 cm); D. 9 13/16 (24.9 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 2 oz. (1867 g); cleaning brush; L. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm); Diam. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm); Wt. .8 oz. (22 g)
Classification:
Firearms-Pistols-Revolvers
Credit Line:
Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Bequest, 2013
Accession Number:
2013.904a–c
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 372
Unlike other handguns known to have been custom-decorated by Tiffany & Co., this revolver does not appear to have been designed for display in one of the the great world's fairs, but intended for the personal use of the American railroad magnate George Jay Gould (1864–1923), whose initials may be seen on a cartouche behind the hammer, and on the lid of the companion case. The revolver is exceptional in having a grip sheathed in etched and engraved sterling silver adorned with plaques of carved ivory, as well as the exterior of its main steel parts silvered overall. It is a spectacular representative of Tiffany's "Saracenic" works in silver, the ornamentation of which was inspired by Islamic architecture and objects.
Inscription: Inscribed on the grip within a cartouche, and on the lid of the case: GJG.

Marking: Stamped on the top of the barrel: SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U. S. A. PAT’D JAN. 17 & 24. 65 / JULY 11. 65. AUG 24. 69. JULY 25. 71. DEC. 2 79. MAY 11 & 25 1880; on the underside of the frame, behind the trigger guard: TIFFANY&CO. / STERLING; and the number: 10075 M 7651 [the first digit 0 is stamped over a digit 7]; on the cylinder, top strap, barrel latch, and bottom of the frame, the serial number: 23402; on the bottom strap of the cylinder: P; on the lower half of the hinge of the case on the right side: TIFFANY & CO. / NEW YORK.
George Jay Gould, New York (about 1889–d. 1923); Dr. Gerald Klaz, Culver City, Calif. (by 1990–2013; lent to MMA, loan number L.1991.55.1, on display 1991–2013; sold to MMA).
Wilson, R. L. Steel Canvas: The Art of American Arms. New York: Random House, 1995. p. 274, ill.

Boorman Dean K. The History of Smith & Wesson Firearms. London: Salamander Books, 2002. p. 33, ill.



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