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    Description

    Light brown with red highlights, strong elements.

    1816 Charleston PORTER Slave Hire Badge. Number 486. A slightly convex square-shaped tag (as they were in even-numbered years during this period) with clipped corners and a hole at the top for suspension. 48mm x 50mm. Hallmark punched "LAFAR" on the reverse indicating manufacture by Charleston silversmith and city marshal John Joseph Lafar. The elements on the obverse are as follows (top to bottom): "*CHARLESTON*" in a lunate bar punch; "1816" bar punched; "PORTER" in a rectangular punch; and "No" in a square punch followed by an incuse "486" in individual punches. Condition is extremely fine; the light brown patina has copper red highlights with just a bit of verdigris in the numbers. All elements are very strong.

    The Charleston slave hire system allowed for slaves to work at various different trades as indicated on the badge; the fees charged were based on level of skill. The semi-skilled occupations (Servant and Porter) were the most common and account for as many as 80% of the badges known to today's collectors. There were an estimated 1,972 badges issued with this date.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2010
    22nd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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