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    Rare early "Fisher" badge with low number

    1817 Charleston FISHER Slave Hire Badge, Number 14. A flat diamond-shaped (as expected in odd-numbered years during this period) tag with clipped corners and a hole at the top for suspension, 64mm x 66mm. A clearly punched "LAFAR" hallmark on the reverse near the top indicates manufacture by J. J. Lafar, a Charleston silversmith. The elements on the obverse are as follows (top to bottom): "*CHARLESTON*" in a crescent-shaped bar punch (the "*C" is weakly struck); "No" in a square punch followed by an incuse "14" in individual punches; "FISHER" in a rectangular punch; and "1817" bar punched. The condition is generally fine with a split running top to near the bottom on the right side. Patina is greenish brown, and the surface is a bit uneven. The overall appearance is nice with a particularly well-struck occupation.

    It is estimated that 2157 badges were issued for the 1817 date. A city census published in an 1817 issue of the Courier would indicate that approximately 18% of the 11,215 slaves in the city worked in the hire system. The Fisher was a skilled occupation and is very rarely offered, making up maybe 2% of the total known badges. The rarity coupled with a low two-digit number, large size, and bold appearance, should cause excitement among collectors.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    18th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,340

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