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John Gunderson Antique Militaria
Smith & Wesson 1st Model "Safety Hammerless" revolver with inscription tying it to a Camden, NJ murder - $2250.00

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Unusual and macabre Smith & Wesson first model "Safety Hammerless" or "Lemon Squeezer" revolver. Early production gun with serial number 95. Inscribed on right side of frame "PRESENTED TO THOMAS ALEXANDER BY THE CAMDEN NJ COURT USED BY THEO. LAMBERT WHO WAS EXECUTED DEC 19 1895 FOR THE KILLING OF WM KAIRER OF CAMDEN DEC 4TH 1893". Newspaper articles about the crime and execution are extensive and can be found published as far west as Chicago. Mr. Lambert, who the period articles note as "colored", was convicted of the killing of Mr. Kairer, a wealthy cracker baker, in an odd attempted invasion of Kairer's son's home, wherein Lambert was noticed, initially fled, but came back to fire through the parlor window, striking the elder Kairer in the heart with one of three shots fired from this gun. Lambert confessed, but later recanted, maintaining his innocence. Eventually, Lambert exhausted his appeals, including an attempted appeal to the Supreme Court, and was executed by hanging in Camden, NJ.

The gun itself is in somewhat worn condition, showing evidence of having been carried for many years. The inscription is clearly readable, as is the barrel marking. Metal surfaces show about 75% nickel finish overall with most of the loss being on the right side. Hard rubber grips are good with a chip by the locating pin on the left side. Appears to be mechanically good. Sold as a collector item only, not warranted safe to shoot.