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 at the top 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 bold individual punches. The surface is slightly porous exhibiting 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    18th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 645

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 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 Lovell House Real Estate Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search