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Object Name: Gavel
Date: 1894
Related People:
Medium: Wood, ivory
Dimensions: Overall: 9 1/8 x 2 3/4 x 1 7/8 in. ( 23.2 x 7 x 4.8 cm )
Description: Gavel with ivory head and wooden handle; the head resembles turned wood, the handle is narrow at the neck and slightly wider and rounded at the bottom; the center of the head and one flat end of the head have carved inscriptions.
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Morton Lexow
Object Number: 1947.297
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Marks: carved: around center of head: "SUPERIOR COURT" carved: on one flat end of head: "This gavel is / presented to / KATHARINE MORTON LEXOW / as a symbol of the / authority wielded / so ably and impartially by / her Husband / Clarence Lexow. / while chairman of the / Special Senate Committee / of 1894 Investigating the / Police & other Depts. / of the City of / New York"

Gallery Label:

This ceremonial gavel honors New York senator Clarence Lexow. Lexow chaired an 1894 senate committee investigation into the corrupt practices of the New York City police department. The investigation focused on exposing Tammany Hall corruption, and it uncovered illegal activity, physical brutality, and election rigging. Because of its findings, Tammany was defeated in that year's municipal elections.