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    1863 Charleston SERVANT Slave Hire Badge. Number 353. A slightly convex diamond-shaped tag with clipped, rounded corners and a hole at the top for suspension, 45mm x 46mm. The manufacturer was local tinsmith W. B. Veronee. The elements on the front are as follows (top to bottom): "CHARLESTON" in a crescent-shaped bar punch (off-center and very lightly stamped); an incuse "353" in individual punches; "SERVANT" in a rectangular punch; and "1863" bar punched. The condition is only fair with verdigris covering most of the badge. The number and occupation is very legible but the other devices are tougher to read.

    The rarity of 1863 badges is extreme. There were fewer badges sold that year than in any year since 1823. The war was definitely taking its toll on Charleston and the slave hire system. For one thing, metals were in very tight supply; there are several known badges from this period that were stamped on the backs of earlier badges- something never seen before the war. Also, because of the Union blockade, there were fewer jobs that needed slaves to be hired. Fewer badges were manufactured and sold. Local records from this year show more instances of slaves caught working without their badges. The economy was failing and the end of slavery was now in sight.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2006
    7th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 896

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