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    Low mintage, fabulous condition, rare occupation.

    1810 Charleston FISHER Slave Hire Badge. Number 49. A somewhat convex octagonal tag with four long sides and four shorter sides, and with a hole at top for suspension. 53mm x 57mm. There is a "LAFAR" hallmark on the reverse signifying that this was manufactured by silversmith John Joseph Lafar, likely his first year of production (no 1808 or 1809 badges have been located). Interestingly, Lafar was known to be a slaveholder himself and would later serve as Charleston's city marshal. The elements on the front are as follows (top to bottom): "*CHARLESTON*" in a lunate bar punch; "1810" bar punched; "FISHER" in a rectangular punch; and "No" in a square punch followed by an engraved "49". This example was likely not dug; it is as nice a slave badge as you're likely to find with extremely fine detail, a beautiful medium brown patina, and a smooth obverse surface. The reverse has some verdigris and pitting. Based on our research, this low numbered tag is the third-oldest known Lafar badge.

    Contemporary reporting of badge sales after 1805 showed just dollar amounts. Authors Harlan Greene, Harry S. Hutchins, Jr., and Brian E. Hutchins, in their definitive reference work Slave Badges and the Slave-Hire System in Charleston, South Carolina, 1783-1865, have devised a mathematical formula for estimating the number of badges issued for each year. Their estimate of the number of badges produced for 1810 is a miniscule 656. The small mintage, large size, uncommon occupation, low number, and extreme displayability all combine to make this a particularly desirable example, worthy of any collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2010
    22nd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,506

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