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    Description

    18th Century Copper Slave Auction Tag.
    1.12" diameter
    New Providence, Bahamas; circa 18th century

    A small circular copper tag, with "LOT 7" engraved on the front. A small hole has been punched at the top through with a string or chain could be strung. The copper tag was found on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas circa 1960s.

    During the 18th and 19th centuries, the British colony of the Bahamas operated under an agricultural economy supported by slavery. As the island with the highest population, New Providence became the center of the slave trade based in the Bahamas. Auctions were held at Vendue House, where each slave was tagged with a lot number before a sale. The slave trade would continue in the Bahamas until the early 19th century, when Great Britain abolished slavery.

    Accompanying the copper tag is a letter of provenance from Mr. Christopher Gordon, who inherited the piece and details how the tag came into his family's possession, stating, "...my parents spent some time in the Caribbean during the early 1970's...Whilst in the region they collected up quite a few historic artifacts, mainly from locals they met who generally gave them the pieces... From what I remember, these were given to my parents whilst on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas. On the waterfront there is a large hotel, I think part of the Hilton Group, [sic] This hotel was rebuilt a number of times and the tags were dug up when trenches were being dug for pipes. I assume in the late 60's era. The hotel is located very close to the main dock and site of the former slave market, known as "Vendue House" where for many years traders unloaded and sold their slaves. There are pictures of this building on the internet, it was restored in the 1980's."

    Condition: The tag is worn and scratched, and the copper is soiled and tarnished. However, the lettering and number are still quite clear.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2019
    15th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 522

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