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    1802 Charleston SERVANT Slave Hire Badge. Number 73. A flat round tag with a hole at the top for suspension, 51mm in diameter. A "C. PRINCE" hallmark is punched on the back, likely for Charleston silversmith Charles Prince. The elements on the front are as follows (top to bottom): "*CHARLESTON*" in a crescent-shaped bar punch (the S and T are indistinct at the top); "No" in a square punch followed by an incuse "73" in individual punches; "SERVANT" in a rectangular punch; and an incuse "1802" in individual punches. Very fine condition with a pleasing chocolate brown patina and a clean, smooth surface.

    1802-dated (1802-03 fiscal year) badges are considered particularly rare. The Charleston Times stated that only 449 badges "...were issued to the owners of slaves working on hire, within the city..." for that year. This was a considerable drop-off from the previous year's (1801-dated) sales of 2373 badges leading to a crackdown on those not complying with the laws. A public notice in the City Gazette shortly after the end of the fiscal year reads: "Notice. To the owners of Slaves working out on hire, and to those in the habit of hiring them. The City Marshal gives notice to the owners... who have neglected to take out badges... that he shall... proceed according to law in such cases, against all defaulters: and that no one may plead ignorance thereof..."

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2006
    7th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
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