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    1830 Charleston SERVANT Slave Hire Badge. Number 949. A flat diamond-shaped tag with slightly clipped corners with a hole at the top for suspension, 68mm x 72mm. Manufactured by silversmith John Joseph LaFar though not hallmarked (no badges after 1828 were "signed"). The elements on the obverse are as follows (top to bottom): "*CHARLESTON*" in a crescent-shaped bar punch; "1830" bar punched; "SERVANT" in a rectangular punch; and "No" in a square punch followed by an incuse "949". The elements are mostly crisp, but the surface is uneven and there is a "crease" from one o'clock to seven o'clock with some splitting at the top, corrosion has eaten through the metal below the occupation and the badge number, and there is some scattered verdigris as well.

    There were an estimated 3459 badges made for the 1830 date. Using that and figures from the Federal Census that year, we can surmise that approximately 18% of all slaves in the city of Charleston participated in the slave hire system.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2007
    26th-27th Monday-Tuesday
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