Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1860 Charleston SERVANT Slave Hire Badge. Number 2175. A slightly convex diamond-shaped tag with clipped and rounded corners and a hole for suspension, 46mm x 46mm. Manufactured by silversmith William M. Rouse. The elements on the obverse are as follows (top to bottom): "CHARLESTON" in a crescent-shaped bar punch; "1860" bar punched; "SERVANT" in a rectangular bar punch; and an incuse "2175" in individual punches. The surface is slightly porous, and it exhibits a pleasing chocolate patina.

    The Mercury newspaper of December 23, 1859 quoted the statute regarding those applying "...for a Badge or Badges, shall take and subscribe before him the following oath to wit: 'I A.B. do solemnly swear (or affirm) that the negro or negroes (stating the name and number) is or are my property, and is or are of the ages respectively stated, or the property of C.D. (as the case may be), and that the employment of every such slave when working on hire, is to be no other than such as is now mentioned by me: so help me God.' And the City Treasurer shall grant no Badge unless such oath or affirmation be previously taken and subscribed before him by the person applying..." (Greene et al, Slave Badges and the Slave Hire System..., 148). There were an estimated 5196 badges manufactured with the 1860 date.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2007
    26th-27th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 801

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 October 27 Domain Names Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 January 15 "Say it Loud" The John Silverstein Collection of African American Social History - Dallas
    2019 January 15 "Say it Loud" The John Silverstein Collection of African American Social History - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $302,219