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    Description

    1817 Charleston MECHANIC Slave Hire Badge. Number 233. A slightly convex diamond-shaped (as expected in odd-numbered years during this period) tag with clipped corners and a hole at the top for suspension, 66mm x 67mm. There are three additional smaller holes in each corner possibly where the original slave sewed it to a piece of clothing. A punched "LAFAR" hallmark on the reverse at the right indicates manufacture by J. J. LaFar, a Charleston silversmith. The elements on the obverse are as follows (top to bottom): "*CHARLESTON*" in a crescent-shaped bar punch; "No" in a square punch followed by an incuse "233" in individual punches (just barely punched all the way through in four places- not noticeable unless held up to the light); "MECHANIC" in a rectangular punch; and "1817" bar punched. The condition is generally very fine with strong devices and dark surfaces.

    Harlan Greene, Harry S. Hutchins, Jr., and Brian E. Hutchins, in their book Slave Badges and the Slave-Hire System in Charleston, South Carolina, 1783-1865 estimate that 2157 badges were issued with the 1817 date. Please note that we are offering in this sale three different occupation badges for this year including this rare Mechanic, a Servant, and an ultra-rare Fisher.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2007
    26th-27th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 998

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