This opulent but functional handgun was specially decorated by Tiffany & Co. and exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, to showcase the most innovative designs and technically sophisticated works the firm could produce. The revolver is remarkable for the turquoise cabochons and lapis lazuli over its fluted and chased sterling silver grip, and for the lapis lazuli stones set at the sides of the frame hinge. The etched ornamentation of the front sight blade, barrel, and cylinder, which was also designed and executed by Tiffany's, offers a striking contrast to the standard decoration of American firearms of the period, which was normally executed by engraving.
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; and the serial number 23060; on the underside of the frame, in front of the trigger guard: a globe over the letter T (the mark used by Tiffany & Co. on objects displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893); and: TIFFANY & CO. / STERLING [the letter G partly defaced] / T; the frame is scratched with the numbers 1150 [struck through]; and 2098.
Warren Anderson, Perth, Australia (until 1992; The Warren Anderson Collection of Premier American & European Antique Firearms - Part 1 sale, Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco, March 23, 1992, no. 4054, for $82,500, to Klaz); Dr. Gerald Klaz, Culver City, Calif. (1992–2013; sold to MMA).
Tiffany & Co. Catalogue of Tiffany & Co's Exhibit: Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. New York: Tiffany & Co., 1893. p. 50, no. 208.
Butterfield & Butterfield. Premier American & European Firearms from the Collection of Warren Anderson, Part I. San Francisco: Butterfield & Butterfield, March 23, 1992. pp. 78–79, no. 4054, ill.
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.
Blades, John M., and John Loring. Tiffany at the World's Columbian Exposition. Palm Beach, Fla.: Flagler Museum, 2006. pp. 52, 130, ill.
Man at Arms for the Gun and Sword Collector 31, no. 3 (2009). p. 7 and front cover, ill.