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    A one year only shape.

    1811 Charleston PORTER Slave Hire Badge. Number 37. A convex, four-sided tag with deeply scooped, rounded corners and a hole at top for suspension. 50mm x 50mm. This is the only year where this particular shape is found. The "LAFAR" punch on reverse indicates its manufacture by John Joseph Lafar. The elements on the front are as follows (top to bottom): *CHARLESTON*" in a lunate bar punch; "1811" bar punched; "PORTER" in a rectangular punch (at a slight angle); and "No" in a square punch followed by an engraved "37". Very fine condition with brown / olive patina and some copper red highlights on the obverse, likely from cleaning after excavation. There are relatively few 1811-dated tags known with the four full scalloped corners as some have been cut down to a rectangular shape. Also, our research did not find a lower-numbered example with this date. Any collector seeking a badge in every possible shape format would have to have an original, unmodified 1811 example. Ex Gilbert G. Steinberg Collection.

    The book Slave Badges and the Slave-Hire System in Charleston, South Carolina, 1783-1865 estimates that there were only 881 badges made with a date of 1811. This is the lowest mintage for the period of 1811-1864.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2010
    22nd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,391

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