Nightstick with holster belt

Object Number: 
1949.32a,e
Date: 
1850-1870
Medium: 
Leather, wood, metal, silk, enamel
Dimensions: 
Part (belt): 42 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 2 in. (108 x 17.1 x 5.1 cm) Part (nightstick): 26 1/4 x 2 3/4 x 2 1/2 in. (66.7 x 7 x 6.4
Marks: 
painted: across center, right side buckle: "POLICE" stamped: reverse, right side buckle: "SMITH / 15 / DUTCH ST. / N.Y."
Description: 
Cylindrical wooden nightstick in leather holster belt; nightstick has a straight club with slightly rounded end, handle is baluster-shaped and ribbed, red, white and blue silk cord with tassels tied onto the stick where the handle meets the club; leather belt (broken) has holster which slides along the belt with an open pocket for the nightstick, circular metal clasp buckle with "POLICE" painted in enamel across the center of one side, opposite side of buckle is void at the center and cast in the form of a wreath.
Gallery Label: 
This nightstick and holster belt were worn by George Washington Matsell (1811-1877), the first chief of municipal police in New York City, 1845-1857. His was the first regularly drilled police force in the City. Matsell later served as superintendant of the New York City Police Department in 1873.
Credit Line: 
Purchase
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group